Alces alces andersoni
Alce Canadense occidental (Sp), Kanada Elch (G), Elan du Canada (F).
DESCRIPTION The second-largest of the world's moose, exceeded only by the Alaska-Yukon subspecies. Large bulls will measure 6-7 feet (1.8 to 2.1 m) at the top of the hump, and have been said to weigh as much as 1,500 pounds (680 kg), although this is probably excessive. The antlers are smaller and less massive than those of the Alaska-Yukon race. The general color is a rusty brown.
BEHAVIOR Solitary except when mating, or a cow with her recent offspring, living by itself in a small home range. Not territorial. Mates in September and October, with bulls displaying and fighting for dominance and taking one female at a time. Bulls can be dangerous during the rut, and unarmed humans may be at risk. Calves are born in May and June, frequently twins, though often a single and occasionally triplets. Females can breed until about 18 years of age. Maximum longevity is 27 years.
A browser, depending on woody vegetation-notably willow, poplar, balsam, aspen and birch-eating leaves, twigs and bark. Feeds on aquatic vegetation by wading into lakes and streams, often submerging completely to feed on the bottom. Vision is poor, with stationary objects seemingly not recognized at all. Senses of smell and hearing are excellent. Active throughout the day, but with peaks at dawn and dark. Despite it ungainly appearance, the moose is nimble and surefooted. Able to cross swamps and quicksand where other animals would mire. Its normal gait is is a quiet, careful walk, but can maintain a speed of 35 mph (56 km/h) for a considerable distance. Has great endurance, able to run up mountainsides or through deep snow or downed timber for miles. An excellent swimmer. Silent except during the rut, when sexes call to each other with grunts and moans. Principal predator is the wolf, with grizzly in a lesser role. As number of wolves are required to bring down a moose, healthyadults are often attacked; calves and sick or aged adults are not necessarily preferred prey.
DISTRIBUTION Canada: The Northwest Territories east of the Mackenzie Mountains; and in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and western Ontario. For record-keeping purposes, we have drawn the boundary between western and eastern Canada moose as a straight line across Ontario from Fort Albany, on the southwest shore of James Bay, to Nipigon, at the northwest corner of Nipigon Bay on the north shore of Lake Superior. United States: A few in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.