Moose

Moose.

Name

  • Common name: Moose
  • Scientific name: Alces americanus
  • Order: Artiodactyla
  • Family: Cervidae

Also known as

Swamp Donkey

Viewing opportunities

  • Yukon has naturally low densities of Moose, making it relatively difficult to spot them from the highways. Road travelers occasionally see Moose crossing the highways or feeding on the edges of nearby ponds or meadows.
  • You have a better chance of seeing Moose in their natural habitat by hiking or boating into the wilderness. Yukon rivers and lakes are a very popular place to find moose in the spring and summer, while in autumn when rutting occurs, moose wander widely and can be encountered almost anywhere.

Description

  • Largest member of the deer family.
  • Dark brown to black colouration. Males tend to be darker than females.
  • Long legs, hump in between shoulders.
  • Long, large nose and mule-like ears.
  • Males have shovel-like antlers.
  • Both sexes have a “bell” or beard hanging from the throat but it tends to be larger in males.

Fast facts

  • Height: 1.87 m
  • Weight: Males weigh around 505 kg and females weigh around 375 kg
  • Lifespan: 8 to 10 years, although females tend to live longer.
  • Predators: Wolves, bears
  • Habitat: Boreal Forest, wetlands

Conservation Status

What is conservation status?

  • Yukon: S5 (Secure)
  • Global: G5 (Secure)

Yukon population estimate

70,000.

Behaviour

Solitary for most of the year, the autumn rutting season brings Moose together. Bull Moose cough, grunt, and rub their antlers on trees to attract females. Cows make a low moaning call to indicate their receptiveness. Bulls clash antlers and engage in a shoving match for dominance and mating rights. Cow Moose give birth in the spring to 1, 2, or rarely 3 calves. The calves will stay with the cow until just before the next calf is born.

Diet

Woody shrubs, leaves and aquatic plants.

Distribution

Download the distribution map

Sights and sounds

Moose track.
Moose track: 15 x 8.8 cm.

Moose tracks.
Tracks in the mud.

Moose pellets.
Moose pellets: 1.5 - 2 cm in diameter.

Moose and people

  • Moose meat has helped support the lives of Yukon First Nations peoples for thousands of years and many First Nation people still depend on Moose for subsistence.
  • Today Moose hunting is a popular activity for many Yukoners.