The ministry tracks moose population trends through:

  • aerial inventory survey results
  • moose population objectives
  • hunter reporting data
  • estimated trends in other factors, such as winter ticks and brain worm

The combined results of these measurements are used to set the numbers of moose tags available in the annual moose tag allocation process.

Moose aerial inventories

  • Moose aerial inventories are designed to provide estimates of the moose populations in Ontario’s wildlife management units (WMUs). This includes documenting the age class (calf or adult) and sex of moose in these areas.
  • For the moose aerial inventories, most WMU are divided into rectangular plots measuring 10 kilometres x 2.5 kilometres and up to 40 or more plots are flown per WMU.
  • The ministry aims to systematically survey each WMU where moose are hunted.
  • Surveys are flown:
    • between December 1 and mid-February, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • within 12 to 72 hours of a fresh snowfall (at least 30 cm) to better see moose or their tracks
    • when the weather is colder than -5C, when moose are more likely to be active
    • at about 140 metres above ground level, at close to 145 km/hour
    • when the wind is less than 20 km/hour and the sky provides adequate visibility

Moose hunter reporting

Hunter activity and harvest reports are submitted by moose hunters across the province. New rules that took effect January 1, 2019 require all provincially licensed moose hunters to report on their activity and harvest.

The results of previous moose hunter activity and harvest reports can be found in the data on Moose hunting activity and harvests.

Trends in climate and parasites

The ministry uses modeling as well as research and monitoring projects to assess the impact of the wide range of factors that are putting pressure on moose.

Moose population objectives

Cervid Ecological Zone A

Woodland caribou, with low densities of moose and white-tailed deer, live in this zone. For both moose and white-tailed deer, the goal is to maintain low densities through population and habitat management.

map of cervid ecological zone overview

Cervid Ecological ZoneWildlife Management Unit2022 Population Estimate2030 Population Objective - Lower2030 Population Objective - Upper
A1A352250400
A1C663839009700
A1D299024003600
A212689001200
A16A17336001500
A16B13595501100
A16C13649501300
A1712009002000
A18A8908001100
A18B459300450
A2421789001800
A255158001800
A2664612001600
A2716076501000

Cervid Ecological Zone B

Moose, white-tailed deer and woodland caribou live in this zone. For moose, the goal is to maintain a low to moderate density population.

map of cervid ecological zone overview

Cervid Ecological ZoneWildlife Management Unit2022 Population Estimate2030 Population Objective - Lower2030 Population Objective - Upper
B3220219002500
B4221816002200
B14566450650
B15A287318003100
B15B496734004600
B19157713001700
B21A288828003800
B21B234624003100
B22132617002100
B23166714002000
B30146617002300
B337749001200
B34618500600

Cervid Ecological Zone C1

Moose and white-tailed deer are the main cervid species in this zone, but there may also be small numbers of elk and woodland caribou. For moose, the goal is to maintain a moderate to high density population.

map of cervid ecological zone overview

Cervid Ecological ZoneWildlife Management Unit2022 Population Estimate2030 Population Objective - Lower2030 Population Objective - Upper
C15299633003900
C186929502400
C19A68713001700
C111B489600850
C112A100112001500
C112B190120002500
C113169933004400

Cervid Ecological Zone C2

Moose and white-tailed deer are the main cervid species in this zone, but there may also be small numbers of elk and woodland caribou. For moose, the goal is to maintain a moderate to high density population.

map of cervid ecological zone overview

Cervid Ecological ZoneWildlife Management Unit2022 Population Estimate2030 Population Objective - Lower2030 Population Objective - Upper
C228315323003200
C229174418002200
C231227021003200
C232128611001600
C235219119002500
C238244523002800
C239158814001800
C240158619002800
C241248226003500

Cervid Ecological Zone D1

Moose, white-tailed deer and elk live in this zone. For moose, the goal is to maintain a moderate to high density population.

map of cervid ecological zone overview

Cervid Ecological ZoneWildlife Management Unit2022 Population Estimate2030 Population Objective - Lower2030 Population Objective - Upper
D161995001400
D17A2175200
D17B2124001100
D19B4687001000
D111A414550850

Cervid Ecological Zone D2

Moose, white-tailed deer and elk live in this zone. For moose, the goal is to maintain a moderate to high density population.

map of cervid ecological zone overview

Cervid Ecological ZoneWildlife Management Unit2022 Population Estimate2030 Population Objective - Lower2030 Population Objective - Upper
D23673912001500
D23768711001400
D242110517002300
D2464043501300
D24711009001200
D24810526001400
D2499297001500
D250270300800
D2533392501000
D254386400800
D255A177250400
D255B8250250
D256458350700
D257242200500
D25810250100
D260697400700
D261249200400
D26211850100
D263210100450

Cervid Ecological Zone E1, E2 and E3

White-tailed deer is the main cervid species living in this zone, but there are also small numbers of moose and elk. Moose are managed for low population densities in some parts of the zone.

map of cervid ecological zone overview

Cervid Ecological ZoneWildlife Management Unit2022 Population Estimate2030 Population Objective - Lower2030 Population Objective - Upper
E359-1025
E36512875150