The moose harvest in Cape Breton Highlands National Park is over for this year and, by all accounts, it was successful.

Clifford Paul, UINR’s Moose Management Initiative Coordinator helped organize the harvest as part of our work with Parks Canada to reverse the trend of forest loss and begin to restore balance to the boreal forest.

“Our Mi’kmaw harvesters were very happy to contribute to the moose reduction program. They were kept busy in remote areas of the North Mountain study area in harsh weather conditions with the challenge of some very rugged terrain. We were able to successfully harvest 37 moose and finished the harvest on a positive note–tired yes, but with no injuries. Our harvesters conducted themselves professionally and are very proud to have made history in partnership with Parks Canada. They certainly have done the Mi’kmaw Nation proud.

“We observed firsthand evidence of what a hyperabundant moose population represents in such a small study area–increased encounters between harvesters and moose, plus an incredible amount of devastation caused by over browsing the boreal forest. For these reasons we know that the ecology of moose habitat is inevitably compromised by having so many moose in the area.

moose harvest2“The moose harvested were donated to help families in the local area, to Feed Nova Scotia through the Hunters Helping the Hungry Program, and to Correction Services through the Mi’kmaw Legal Support Network. The remaining were distributed amongst Mi’kmaw communities in Unama’ki and across the province.”

The moose harvest achieved its goal of a 90% reduction of moose within this small area for this year—which is less than 2% of the park. The moose were harvested over 13 days, ending on December 14, 2015.