IAB Research Project Description

Condition and movement of moose in relation to urban development

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This project will characterize the movement patterns of moose and determine body condition in relation to seasonal habitat use on the joint lands of Elmendorf Air Force Base and Ft. Richardson Army Post in Anchorage, Alaska. 

Joint Base Emendorf-Fort Richardson (JBER) lands support a diverse assembly of wildlife typically associated with wilderness areas, including brown bears, black bears, moose, and wolves. Plans for development to support JBER’s mission may have significant effects on future wildlife movement within the military lands in both the lower Eagle River and Ship Creek drainages. These military lands represent an important undeveloped large-scale corridor for seasonal altitudinal moose movement, already severely restricted by urban development outside the JBER borders.

A recent brown bear study (Farley, et al 2008) provided insight into important movement corridors within Elmendorf Air Force Base (EAFB) and adjacent Fort Richardson; however, small sample size and species specific behavioral patterns may have failed to identify all large animal movement corridors. Wolves appear to be present on JBER as two packs that cut across those drainages divided primarily by the Glenn Highway development (R. Sinnott, personal communication). An understanding of wildlife movement corridors and their level of significance must be supported by well-documented data to identify potential methods of reducing the effect of human development on such corridors, and to prioritize areas for habitat preservation or enhancement. The research on moose is part of a broader plan to study wolves and bears on JBER lead by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) in cooperation with JBER biologists.

Project Funding

U.S. Dept. of Defense
1 Jan 2009 – 30 Apr 2012
IAB Proposal #2011-023
UAF Grant #G5380
IAB Project #236

Outreach & Media

News and Outreach Articles

  • What's cost of development on dwindling moose population?
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Media Contact

Marie Thoms
Communications/Web Manager
Institute of Arctic Biology
302A Irving I
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000
email: methoms@alaska.edu
phone: 907.474.7412