Swedish resource management aims to balance the positive and the negative sides of having moose in a landscape with active forestry, hunting and non-consumptive interests. A major focus of Swedish moose management is managing the interactions among people, forestry and moose. Research is a foundation for wise management and we manage moose because our society view them a resource in several respects.
Moose populations in Northern Sweden tend to gather in forest areas during winter thus increasing the moose density temporally and locally to high numbers. Areas prone to extensive winter browsing of moose mostly consist of economically valuable Scott’s pine stands (clear-cuts or young, regenerating stands). It is therefore necessary to increase the knowledge of moose movement at the regional and landscape level to better understand the movement pattern in relation to available winter browse. These insides will allow a better cooperation at the local and regional level between hunters, foresters and decision makers on moose management issues.
To date, moose tracking relied either on tracking techniques based on VHF-radio collars or in recent years more and more on GPS-collars. However, both techniques have the disadvantage that significant man power is required in the field to directly track the animals (VHF) or to extract stored positional data by a handheld local radio link (GPS). Previously, downloading stored data after retrieval of a collar from a moose faced a risk of total data loss due to both mechanical collar failures or loss of the animal. Further, spatial analysis of the data often requires considerable investments in GIS software and education. In this project we present a technique to track moose in almost real-time and show positions, movement paths and simple statistics with a web-based map service.
During spring 25 female moose were equipped with GPS/GSM+ collars (Vectronic Aerospace GmbH, 2003) in Västerbotten county in Northern Sweden (Fig. 1). The GPS collars acquire a position every 30 minutes and store them internally for later download. Further, each collar is equipped with a GSM 900/1800 (dualband) module, sending up to seven positions each 3.5 hours as a standard SMS message to a GSM-modem. After receiving a SMS-message, the positions are automatically extracted and stored in a SQL-server database. Using a web page we then extract positional data for one or more moose from the database and show the results either as moving paths or positions together with simple statistics on path length or number of positions on a map. For extraction we use the ArcIMS engine (ESRI, 2002) in the .Net environment (Microsoft, 2003). The technical platform was developed by grants from 'Kempestiftelserna' and 'Kungliga Skogs- och Lantbruksakademien'.
The project is financed by the County Administrative Board of Västerbotten, the forestry owners association and the Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management. The technique was developed at SLU in cooperation with Vectronic Aerospace GmbH in Germany.
Göran Ericsson, Dept. of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), SE - 901 83 Umeå, Sweden, tel. +46 (90) 786 8508
Holger Dettki, Dept. of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), SE - 901 83 Umeå, Sweden, tel. +46 (90) 786 8505
Lars Edenius, Dept. of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), SE - 901 83 Umeå, Sweden, tel. +46 (90) 786 8341
John P. Ball, Dept. of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), SE - 901 83 Umeå, Sweden, tel. +46 (90) 786 8418