Today we have a number of different reference areas where we work with GPS / GSM marked moose, covering latitude 67 in the county of Norrbotten down to latitude 57 in the county of Kronoberg. Northern Sweden (the counties of Västerbotten and Norrbotten) has a long tradition of moose research, using VHF technique since the late 80s. In winter 2003, we started data collection using GPS technique. During the winter of 2009, we started our first projects in the southern part of Sweden with marking moose with GPS neck collars in the counties of Kronoberg (Växjö) and Sörmland (Öster Malma). In the winter of 2010 and 2012, we also equipped moose with GPS neck collars in the county of Kalmar. Since then, we study moose movement, habitat use, reproduction, and interaction with other ungulates. 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 questions that deal with the comparison of moose behavior among different populations. Particularly interesting is the comparisons between northern and southern Sweden, and how moose adapt to climate in the different areas as well as how it tackles the change of the climate. Some of our marking projects have been completed by now, many are still on-going thanks to many different sources of funding. More information about a given projects can be found under the different links below. At each project page, you will find a link that brings you to our webpage where you can monitor moose movement in near real time by choosing an individual moose or looking at the current distribution of all GPS-marked moose in this area.
Map showing reference areas.
During 2005-2007, we monitored marked moose in the area around Arjeplog where 40 moose were equipped with GPS neck collars to follow their movement. We removed the neck collars in winter 2007 when the project ended. During winter 2008, we marked 50 moose in two specific areas, 25 moose around Överkalix and 25 moose near the mountains at Nikkaluokta. One of the central research question were how moose range and migrate seasonally and in relation to the environment. In 2012, we removed the tracking devices 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 the past years, as well as to expand the research effort in this area. In winter 2013, a major marking effort took place to equip 90 moose in three different areas (Arvidsjaur, Niemisel and Ängesån). One focus was to improve our 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 near Sarek National Park. In winter 2016, we removed the neck collars in all four areas and moved them to four new ones within 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. To track moose physiology in relation to external factors, we equipped 16 moose with MIT-sensors in addition to the GPS collar. MIT sensors monitor heart rate and body temperature.
Over time, the different management projects in the county of Norrbotten have taken 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. The project around Nikkaluokta is funded by SLU.
During the winter of 2003, we marked 25 female moose with GPS collars. The project was funded by the County Administrative Board in Västerbotten, landowners, and the Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management in Västerbotten. Annually, we moved the neck collars among individuals in different areas; from Åsele (2003/2004) to Nordmaling (2004/2005) to Hällnäs (2005/2006), and finally to Mala (2006/2007). Our study focus was size and distribution of moose home ranges, migration behavior, and reproduction. In total, 102 different moose were marked within this project that ended in 2007. 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; 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)! Usually, moose are marked in February / March, which generally covers the winter ranges. One reason for the different timing of marking in this project was the need for better knowledge about the proportion of moose that moved during the winter to the forest areas in the different sides of the border, i.e., to Norway and Sweden. Beside migration behavior, we studied also moose home range size and habitat utilization.
In february 2017, we equipped 27 female moose with GPS neck collars in the Nordmaling area near the coast. This marking project belongs to the research program Beyond Moose. The marked moose will help to increase our understanding of how moose move in the landscape and how they utilize their habitats within ungulate multi-species systems. The Nordmaling area is unique as it is the only area this far north that has four different ungulate species: roe deer, fallow deer, red deer, and moose. Within this project, another project is joining the marking effort - veterinarians Jon Arnemo and Alina Evans study the ecophysiology of moose. Here, moose are not only equipped with a GPS neck collar, but also carry a little sensor in the stomach and under the skin that measures physiological data such as body temperature and heartbeat.
In February 2009, we marked 25 moose in the area around Växjö (5 bulls and 20 cows). In January 2010, we marked additional 6 moose in order to replace those we had lost in 2009. Early 2012, we marked additional 39 moose (29 cows, 10 bulls) to replace some of the losses from previous years as well as to expand the research effort in this area. The area around Växjö is very exciting for several reasons. First, questions concerning moose and forestry after the storms "Gudrun" (2005) and "Per" (2007) are central. Second, the area is also very interesting for that fact that it provides possibilities to study questions about multi-species ungulate system as well as concerning wildlife and traffic. By the end of 2017, 65 adult moose (49 cows, 16 bulls) have been marked in the area, and we have been able to document the birth and survival of 255 calves of the year.
In February 2009, we marked 25 moose in the area near Öster Malma (5 bulls and 20 cows). In January 2010, we marked additional 7 moose in order to replace those we had lost in 2009. As for the marking project "Växjö", "Öster Malma" is a very exciting study area for several reasons. First, questions concerning moose and forestry are central, but almost more important the area is unique with respect to occurrence and densities of several different ungulate species. In early 2012, we marked an additional of 39 moose (29 cows and 10 bulls) to replace some of the losses during previous years and to expand our research effort in this area. By the end of 2017, 75 adult moose (57 cows, 18 bulls) have been marked and we have been able to document the birth and survival of 124 calves of the year.
In early January 2010, we equipped 26 moose 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 study area, giving the opportunity to study wildlife and traffic interactions, given resource are available. The project was completed in 2012.
In February 2012, we marked 25 moose on the island Öland (5 bulls, 20 cows). Öland is very special and provides very unusual habitat for moose. The major research question in this area concerns the summer survival of calves of the year, which is extremely low. More specifically, the summer survival of moose calves on this island is the lowest recorded world-wide for an area that is free from large natural predators. In order to understand the factors that cause this the low summer calf survival, we make a special research effort in this area. Here, we mark a part of the calves to monitor closely their survival over the summer. 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. By the end of 2017, 37 adult moose (30 cows, 7 bulls) have been marked on Öland, and we have been able to document the birth and survival of 106 calves.