Territory Size for Moose

by Louise

Bull Moose in His Home Range

Bull Moose in His Home Range

What size of an area will a bull moose live in?

How much ground will they cover in rut season?

Will a cow stay in her area and how big would that be?


Good questions Louise, thanks!

First off, I'd like to clarify my reference to home range.

The moose home range is the territory that moose inhabit for much of the year. The concept of moose home range has been around for a long time. Seton(1909) was the first to use the term but it really wasn't until 1904, 1943 that fellow named Burt provided the first examples of "Home Range" in a documented study.

The home range or "territory" is going to be differing dependent upon the area the moose live. Moose have a long term affinity to their chosen home range and indeed may use the same wintering and summer ranges for their entire lives.
As you are probably aware, a moose home range must hold the necessities of life: food, water and shelter.

How large is a moose home range?
Really the home range size is going to be determined upon the metabolic needs of the moose. If the nutritional need cannot be met in a smaller range then a larger home range would need to be established.

How much ground will they cover in rut season?

In one study in Minnesota, bulls before the rut traveled 0.5 km equally day and night During the beginning of the rut traveled more during the day 0.8 km and night 0.5 km. But during the late rut the movements were reversed and the moose moved more during the night 1.1 km than during the day 0.3 km.

Will a cow stay in her area and how big would that be?

The home range of female moose is relatively the same as for male moose, although appreciably they are not in the same habitat.
There is too much data to say if cow moose home range is larger or smaller than a male moose. The stats vary from region to region.
I see you are from Saskatchewan, some data that I have is from North-central Alberta.

Male moose in that area have 52 square mile home range in winter and 22 square miles in summer.

Female moose in that area have 18 square mile home range in winter and 9 square miles in summer.

Further reading on the subject: Moose Core Area

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