ABSTRACT: The moose population in Russia contains 4 subspecies and peaked at >800,000 animals in 1990. A substantial population decline of >50% occurred in European Russia between 1990 and 2002; populations in Asiatic Russian have remained more stable. This decline was influenced by the relationships among population densities of moose and humans, available forest habitat, and exploitation of moose. In general, fluctuations in moose populations were lower in areas with more forest habitat and lower human density.
Key words: Alces alces, distribution, decline, fluctuation, human impacts, moose, populations, Russia.
There are an estimated 14.4 million [km.sup.2] of moose habitat in Russia. Four subspecies of moose have been documented in Russia including 1) Alces alces alces Linnaeus 1758 found in European Russia, the Ural mountains, western Siberia, and the Altai mountains, 2) A. a. pfizenmayeri Zukowski 1910 that occupies the area east of the Yenisey River to the Chersky Mountain Range, 3) A. a. buturlini (Chernyavsky and Zhelesnov 1982) that is distributed throughout northeast Siberia, and 4) A. a. cameloides Milne-Edwards 1867 that occupies the Amur region and the Sikhote-Alin Mountain range (Chernyavsky and Zheleznov 1982, Heptner 1989) (Fig. 1). The various ecoregions that moose inhabit include the tundra, subarctic, subarctic-regime mountains, warm continental, warm continental-regime mountains, prairie, prairie-regime mountains, and temperate steppe (Bailey 1998).
The population density of moose is influenced by human population density and associated hunting pressure. Moose populations in European Russia declined in the late 20th century (Baskin 1998) and are predicted to continue declining in the early...
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