Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Density estimation of moose in New York State: investigations into the apparent decline


April 2015 - August 2019


This project will investigate the apparent declines in the moose population within New York. We will implement a spatial capture- recapture (SCR) study of moose in New York to estimate population density. This method will employ scat detection dogs to survey moose scat, which will then be used to genetically identify individuals. The SCR models that are developed will be used to study processes such as resource selection, movement, space usage, and landscape connectivity, contributing to moose management by providing inference on the impacts of land-use patterns, climate, disease, and interspecific interactions on population processes. We will make recommendations regarding efficient survey designs that incorporate both occupancy-level survey data (possibly including remotely-operated trail cameras, observations from hunter surveys, etc.) and non-invasive genetic sampling so that rigorous range-wide surveys can be conducted to estimate abundance and density. The project, in collaboration with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and The Wildlife Conservation Society, will also focus on developing broader management and population goals for moose in New York, including the characterization of stakeholder concerns for population-level thresholds.

Research Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Wong, A., A. K. Fuller, and J.A. Royle. Adaptive Sampling for Spatial Capture-Recapture: An efficient sampling scheme for rare or patchily distributed species. Ecology


  • Wong, A. 2018. Methodologies for abundance estimation of moose (Alces alces) and other rare species. MS Thesis.


  • Wong, A. A. Fuller, J. Royle. 2016. Spatial patterns in density of moose in a heterogeneous landscape using non-invasive genetic sampling to inform management. Cornell graduate student annual research symposium. January 25, 2016.
  • Wong, A., A. Fuller, J.A. Royle. 2016. Challenges of sickness and stress for moose: assessing thermal stress and parasitic threats to moose in the Adirondacks of New York. The Wildlife Society New York Chapter meeting. April 12, 2016.
  • Wong, A., and A.K. Fuller. Assessing parasitic threats to moose in the Adirondacks of New York. New York Chapter of The Wildlife Society Annual Meeting. Albany, NY. 12 April, 2016
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Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 240

Phd Students: 142

Post Docs: 52

University Staff: 242

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 702

Scientific Publications: 1951

Presentations: 4266



Funding Agencies

  • Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future
  • Kieckhefer Adirondack Fellowship
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey