Catching a glimpse

A moose wades through the water at Cedar River Flow in Inlet. Gary Lee/State Department of Environmental Conservation

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is asking for public assistance reporting moose sightings as part of ongoing efforts to monitor moose distribution in the state.

While the DEC reports most of the state’s moose live in the Adirondacks, moose are also found in portions of eastern New York along the border with Vermont and Massachusetts. Occasionally, moose are seen in southeastern New York and the Catskills — these are generally single animals that have dispersed from other areas in New York, Connecticut or Massachusetts.

In 2019, the public reported 447 moose observations to DEC. The largest land mammal in the state, moose bulls weigh between 600 and 1,200 pounds and stand up to 6 feet tall at the shoulder. Cows weigh anywhere from 500 to 800 pounds.

Moose are primarily browsers, feeding on the leaves, twigs and buds of hardwood and softwood trees and shrubs. An adult moose eats 40 to 60 pounds of browse every day. Favored plant species include willows, birches, maples, balsam fir, viburnums, aspen and mountain ash. In the summer, when most moose sightings occur, moose feed heavily on aquatic plants in ponds and wetlands, wading into the water and reaching beneath the surface for plants.

Many moose sightings also occur along roadways. The DEC encourages cautious driving, especially at dusk and dawn as moose can be hard to spot due to their dark color. If you see a moose, do not block traffic and remember to respect wildlife by keeping quiet and viewing from a distance.

Please report moose observations using DEC’s online form, and share your moose encounters with the DEC by emailing photos to wildlife@dec.ny.gov.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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