Today we have a number of different reference areas where we work with GPS / GSM marked moose, covering latitude 67 in Norrbotten County down to latitude 57 in Kronoberg County. Northern Sweden (Västerbotten and Norrbotten) has a long tradition of moose research, and in winter 2003 we started with the data collection of GPS positions. During the winter of 2009 we marked the first moose with GPS neck collars in Kronoberg and Söderman County. In the winter of 2010 and 2012 also moose were equipped with GPS neck collars in Kalmar County. Since then, we follow moose movement, habitat use and reproduction. GPS-marked moose in northern and southern Sweden give us the opportunity to look at research questions that are specific to a given area or region, as well as to compare moose behavior between northern and southern Sweden. Particularly interesting is the comparisons between the North and South, and how moose adapt to climate in the different areas as well as how it tackles its change. Some projects have been completed, many are still on-going. More information about a given projects can be found under the given links. Moose movement can be monitored in near real time when you click on the link that guides you to the website for each area where you can look at individual moose as well as the distribution of all GPS-tagged moose in this area.
During 2005-2007 a moose marking project was active in the area around Arjeplog where 40 moose were marked to follow their movement. The neck collars were taken off in winter 2007. During winter 2008, 50 moose were marked in two specific areas, 25 moose around Överkalix and 25 moose near the mountains at Nikkaluokta. One of the central research question is how moose moves and migrates in relation to different seasons and the environment. In 2012, we tracking devices were removed for moose around Överkalix. At the same time, we marked another 15 moose (including 4 bulls) in Nikkaluokta area to replace those we had lost during those two years, as well as to expand the research effort in this reference area. In winter 2013, a major marking effort took place to equip 90 moose in three different reference areas (Arvidsjaur, Niemisel and Ängesån). One focus issue was more detailed knowledge about the migration behavior of moose in these areas to be able to adjust management measures. In winter 2014, additional 22 moose were marked in the area around Tjåmotis. In winter 2016, we removed the neck collars in these four reference areas in order to move them to four new areas in Norrbotten (Haparanda Kalix, Junosuando, Lina River, Svappavaara). As a result, by winter 2016 a total of 350 different moose have been marked with GPS collars in Norrbotten.
Norrbotten management projects have been taking various initiatives and funding. The latest project is initiated by the Forestry Hunting Group Norrbotten, the Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management Norrbotten, the County Administrative Board of Norrbotten, and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Funding comes partly through the county moose management fund and partly by land owners comprised of Sveaskog, SCA, the Northern forest owners, the National Property Board of Sweden, Allmänningarna, the Church, and the Federation of Swedish Farmers.
Västerbotten, Sweden / Norway
During the winter of 2003, 25 moose cows were marked with GPS collars and the project has been done in cooperation with the County Administrative Board in Västerbotten, the landowners group, and the Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management in Västerbotten. Annually, the neck collars were moved between individuals in areas around Åsele (2003/2004), Nordmaling (2004/2005), Hällnäs (2005/2006) and Mala (2006/2007). Focus was on the study of home ranges, migration behavior, and reproduction. In total, 102 different moose were marked. In November / December 2004, we started a project within the program "Moose in MidScandia" which was a collaboration between Sweden and Norway. The project officially ended in 2007. Here, moose were marked in three different areas around the Swedish / Norwegian border; kring Krutfjell, Krokstrand, and Skalmodal. Markings in this project differed from the markings in all the other areas, because moose were marked in their summer ranges (i.e., in the mountains). One reason for this was the need for better knowledge about the proportion of moose that moved during the winter to the Norwegian and Swedish forests, as well as information about home range and habitat utilization.
In february 2017, 27 female moose have been equipped with GPS neck collars in the Nordmaling area. The marking is part of the Beyond Moose research program and will help to increase our understanding of how moose move in the landscape and utilize their habitats in multi-species systems. The area in Nordmaling is unique as it is the only that far north that have roe deer, fallow deer, and red deer, next to moose. Next to studies on movement and habitat utilization, another project is joining this marking effort. Veterinarians Jon Arnemo and Alina Evans studying the ecophysiology of moose. For these study questions, the moose do not only carry a GPS neck collar, but have been equipped with a little sensor in the stomach and under the skin that measures body temperature and heartbeat.
In February 2009, we marked 25 moose in the area around Växjö (5 bulls and 20 cows). In January 2010, additional six moose were marked in the area in order to replace those we had lost in 2009. In early 2012, additional 39 moose (29 cows, 10 bulls) were marked to replace some of the losses from previous years as well as to expand the research effort in this reference area. The area is very exciting not only with respect to the moose and forestry issues after the storm "Gudrun", but also with respect to the fact that different ungulates co-exist in the area (multi-species system) , as well as for issues concerning wildlife and traffic. At the beginning of 2016, a total of 65 adult moose (49 cows, 16 bulls) has been marked in the area, and we have been able to document the birth and survival 208 calves of the year.
Sörmland, Öster Malma
In February 2009, 25 moose were marked in the area (5 bulls and 20 cows). In January 2010, additional seven moose were marked in order to replace those we had lost in 2009. As for the reference area "Växjö", Öster Malma is very exciting not only with respect to the moose and forestry issues, but also with respect to the fact that different ungulates co-exist in the area (multi-species system), as well as for issues concerning wildlife and traffic. In early 2012, additional 39 moose (29 cows and 10 bulls) were marked in order to replace some of the losses in 2010-2011 and to expand the research effort in this reference area. At the beginning of 2016, a total of 75 adult moose (57 cows, 18 bulls) has been marked in the area, and we have been able to document the birth and survival of 107 calves of the year.
In early January 2010, 26 moose were equipped with GPS neck collars in the area around Misterhult (6 bulls and 20 cows). The area is very suitable for studying moose –forestry interactions as well as multi-species system as several ungulates species occur in the area. In addition, the highway E22 runs right through the area, giving the opportunity to study wildlife and traffic interactions, given resource are available. The project was completed in 2012.
In February 2012, 25 moose were marked on the island Öland (5 bulls, 20 cows). This reference area provides very special und unusual moose habitat. The area is very interesting as the summer survival of calves of the year are reported to be low, despite of the absence of large predators. In order to study the low summer calf survival more closely, we make a special research effort in this area as we mark a part of calves to closely monitor their survival. In order to be able to compare calf summer survival on Öland with other moose populations in southern Sweden, was also marked calves in the reference area around Växjö and Öster Malma. At the beginning of 2016, a total of 37 adult moose (30 cows, 7 bulls) has been marked on Öland, and we have been able to document the birth and survival of 76 calves.