New Brunswick

Fundy National Park to count its moose

Moose in Fundy National Park will be counted by biologists for the first time in almost 20 years this weekend.
Biologists found between 80 and 100 moose in Fundy National Park during the last survey, in 1993.

Biologists take to the skies above Fundy National Park this weekend for an aerial survey of the park's moose population.

They'll be making density estimates by helicopter to get an idea of the number of animals living in the park.

Dan Mazerolle, an ecologist with Parks Canada, said moose play a critical role in the park's ecosystem.

"It's an indicator that we track to assess the overall state of the forest ecosystem," he said.

"We're very interested in tracking the overall state of all the ecosystems in Fundy National Park so that we can report to Canadians on how well their parks are doing from the ecological side of things," he said.

Mazerolle said the entire survey will be done by helicopter.

"They fly at roughly around 100 metres, 60 to 100 metres up in the air," he said.

"Once tracks are found ... they'll locate the animal, go a little bit lower, and it typically takes 20 to 30 seconds to identify whether it's a male, female, and whether the adult is with a young or not."

The last survey, in 1993, found between 80 and 100 moose in the park.

Mazerolle said they believe the population is healthy and may have even risen since that count, though they will be on guard for any signs indicating otherwise.