This is the first in a special series Artemis is airing with the Monteith Shop, an ungulate research lab at the University of Wyoming. This week we’re joined by Rebecca Levine, whose research is focused on understanding the thermal ecology of moose. More than half of southern moose populations in the Lower 48 are in decline. We talk parasite loads, chronic wasting disease, the mysterious moose of New Zealand’s fjordlands, and what habitat a moose needs to stay cool.

  • 4:00 When do you get to call yourself a ‘hunter’?
  • 5:00 In the southern half of moose’s range, about half of populations are in decline
  • 7:00 Why is heat stress so particular to moose versus other cervids? The skinny: They’re big, they’re dark, and they don’t sweat.
  • 10:00 How do moose find those spots to cool off in?
  • 12:00 Collaring MOOSE… it’s a PROCESS. But the video collars? SO COOL
  • 15:00 Moose = tick paradise
  • 16:00 Moose are intermingling with more ungulates that they ordinarily may not have overlapped with, which is one vector for parasite spread
  • 18:00 Preg-checking a female moose
  • 21:00 Twin prevalence in moose
  • 24:00 Different subspecies of moose and their historic ranges… they’re unique in that moose are circumpolar. They’re in Russia, China, Canada, Alaska, etc.
  • 28:00 Moose are relative newcomers to Wyoming/Utah/Colorado
  • 32:00 Moose reach heat stress above 55 degrees… and they indulge in a number of behaviors to mitigate heat — bedding down in marshes, traveling to higher altitudes, etc
  • 36:00 Chronic wasting disease effects all cervids, including moose
  • 37:00 Wyoming Chronic Disease Management plan
  • 44:00 Bilingual fishing/game regs – Kansas just did this, and the results are great
  • 46:00 Monteith Shop on Insta (@Monteith.shop)
  • 47:00 Funding is a limiting resource on the production of high-quality science
  • 47:40 Monteith Shop website, UngulateCompendium.org
  • 52:00 Moose encounters in the Brooks Range… MONSTERS RISING FROM THE WILLOWS! Bear spray doesn’t help you feel brave in that moment
  • 53:00 “Don’t run” is the general advice for wildlife encounters… EXCEPT with moose
  • 54:00 National Park Service project to preserve big-horn sheep in Grand Teton National Park
  • 55:00 Charismatic megafauna vs charismatic megafauna… eliminating mountain goats to preserve bighorn sheep
  • 56:00 Three hours to go a mile in canyon/bog/swamp… great chance for a somewhat scary moose encounter! Also, that moment when your scientist friend hears something and says, “Hmm… that sounds like a large mammal.”
  • 59:00 Two cans of bear spray deployed… which totally got the target animal, but also the person in flight
  • 1:01 Bear spray is oil-based, and thus very sticky
  • 1:04 In 1910 moose were introduced into New Zealand’s fjordlands. The population never really took off… the last sighting was in 1980, BUT, it’s led to a Sasquatch type of fervor, with the occasional wingnut moose sighting in that area. #moosetrivia
  • 1:06 Moose = swamp donkeys