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Status, Movements, and Habitat Use of Moose in Massachusetts

Bull moose with GPS collar and cow moose in wetland in Massachusetts.


January 2006 - September 2011


Moose have re-colonized much of their historic range in New England. This recent southern expansion has raised questions as to their ability to cope with different forest types, densely populated areas, and higher temperatures. We used GPS collars to track the movements of moose throughout southern New England. Home ranges were between 30-200 sq km, and moose used a combination of young forest for food, mature forest for thermal cover, and wetlands, esp. during calving, while avoiding the densely developed areas. The population is low density but appears stable. Moose-vehicle collisions remain a concern throughout the region.

Research Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Wattles, D., and S. DeStefano. 2011. Status and management of moose in the northeastern United States. Alces 47:53-68. Abstract | 

Technical Publications

  • Wattles, D., K. Berger, S. DeStefano, W. Woytek, and J. McDonald. 2006. Moose movements and habitat use: progress report on the GPS moose study in Massachusetts. USGS Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Amherst, MA and Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Westborough, MA. 15pp.
  • DeStefano, S., and D. Wattles. 2009. Tracking the Commonwealth's moose. Massachusetts Wildlife 59:12-25.


  • Wattles, D. W. 2011. Status, movements, and habitat use of moose in Massachusetts. MS Thesis, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 3

Masters Students: 5

Phd Students: 11

Post Docs: 2

University Staff: 1

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 69

Scientific Publications: 35

Presentations: 148



Funding Agencies

  • Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife


Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
  2. Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. University of Massachusetts
  6. Wildlife Management Institute