Sunday, January 15, 2017

Vermont Fish and Wildlife using helicopters to study moose

ST JOHNSBURY, Vt. — Vermont residents may soon see a helicopter flying low overhead as the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department begins collaring up to 60 moose for a three-year study. 

Wildlife experts with professional contractor Native Range will be using nets to capture moose from the helicopter without the use of tranquilizers, according to a press release. 

Capture was expected to begin as early as Jan. 11, depending on weather conditions. Capture efforts require flying just above tree height, and are expected to take one to two weeks.

The processing of a captured moose is completed in minutes and is done using wildlife handling techniques that minimize stress and harm to the animal.

Department staff will track collared moose for several years using the GPS points gathered by the collars, and by visiting moose directly in the field to record observations. 

Vermont is the fourth northeastern state to partake in such a study – state fish and wildlife agencies in New York, New Hampshire and Maine are currently using the same methods to examine their moose herds. 

The study will run through 2019.

“Moose are facing a variety of threats ranging from a warming climate to increasing winter tick loads, and we appreciate the public’s support as we study how these factors are impacting Vermont’s moose population,” said Cedric Alexander, Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s lead moose biologist. 

Members of the public or landowners who have questions or concerns about the helicopter activities can call the St. Johnsbury district office at 802-751-0100. 

For more information, go to


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