If you are planning a trip to the Adirondacks, there is a chance that you could see a moose. DEC requests that any moose observations be reported through the Moose Sighting Report Form on DEC’s website. DEC uses this information to monitor the relative abundance and distribution of New York’s moose population and identify areas where additional population assessments may be warranted.
Based on the moose sighting data compiled by DEC to date, spring moose sightings typically occur along major roadways in the central Adirondacks during the morning between 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., with a secondary spike in sightings occurring in the evening around 7 p.m. (view PDF map). Moose are crepuscular and are often drawn to the edges of roadways during these times because of the salt that was used during winter road maintenance and the presence of early successional vegetation which moose feed on.
Moose are large animals and can be easily spotted from a distance during the day, but it can be much more difficult to pick them out at night. Their dark fur blends in with their nighttime surroundings and they stand much taller than other wildlife making it difficult to see their eyes reflecting from your car’s headlights. In the upcoming weeks, adult females will also begin birthing calves, and their calves from last year will begin venturing off on their own. These juvenile moose often move great distances across the landscape and cross many roads in search of their own home range, making them especially vulnerable as they navigate through unfamiliar areas. It’s important to be extra vigilant and slow down through sections of roadway where moose crossing signs exist in order to avoid a moose-vehicle collision.
If you happen to see a moose, enjoy the experience and take photos, but be sure to give it plenty of space. Moose can be very dangerous and should never be approached, fed, or surrounded. DEC recommends not sharing the moose’s location on social media or with other people in the area in order to avoid these situations. Help keep moose healthy and safe by reporting your sightings to DEC.
Photo at top: Moose. NYS DEC photo.