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Published June 28, 2019
For the fifth year running, citizen scientists have the opportunity to help track moose populations in the mountains outside Laramie on Summer Moose Day.
The event is Saturday, July 27, in the Vedauwoo/Happy Jack and Snowy Mountain areas. Preregistration is required by July 16.
“Grab your hiking shoes and a partner, and come look for moose with us,” says Zoe Nelson, of the University of Wyoming’s Biodiversity Institute.
Summer Moose Day is a follow-up to the Winter Moose Day event held in January in the same areas. The winter event brought out nearly 90 citizen scientists who surveyed 29 routes and found 16 moose and over 70 signs of moose.
Coordinators hold the Winter Moose Day and Summer Moose Day events annually. Data are uploaded to the public citizen science web portal, iNaturalist (www.inaturalist.org), and given to biologists at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and at UW.
Those biologists, who study the moose herd in the Laramie area, use these citizen science data to further their understanding of the population densities of local moose, their reproductive rates, summer habitat quality, their winter ranges and how these variables change over time. Both the summer and the winter events are geared toward increasing understanding of Laramie-area moose, and involving the public in asking and answering these questions.
For those interested in participating in Summer Moose Day, visit www.wyomingbiodiversity.org/moose-day and adopt a route by July 16. There is a required training for new participants Wednesday, July 17, at 6:30 p.m. in UW’s Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center. In order to survey while moose are most active, participants are asked to get to their routes as early as dawn July 27 and complete their surveys by noon.
The event and program are coordinated by the UW Biodiversity Institute, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Summer Moose Day is an extension of the original program, Moose Day, held by Nature Mapping Jackson Hole in Jackson each winter.
The UW Biodiversity Institute fosters conservation of biodiversity through scientific discovery, creative dissemination, education and public engagement. In this setting, scientists and citizens, students and educators come together to share a wealth of perspectives on the study and appreciation of biodiversity -- from microbes to poetry and ecosystems to economics. Learn more at www.wyomingbiodiversity.org.