Forestry is the dominant land use and revenue earner in Scandinavia, and is the foundation for all wood-based industries. At the same time, moose and moose hunting have high economic and recreational value, as both a food resource from hunting and for nature-based travel, adventure and tourism.
In many parts of Scandinavia, intense browsing by wintering moose jeopardizes the regeneration of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris). Intensive browsing can lead to browsing damage, resulting in volume losses, poor stand regeneration, and reduced timber quality.
The main mitigation measure to deal with intensive browsing has been through supplementary feeding of moose with silage. While research suggests that supplementary feeding may improve moose body condition, its effect on reducing forest damage is less clear. However, modifications to forest management activities, from stand establishment to early and late thinning and final logging, can produce considerable amounts of moose forage. This could reduce browsing pressure on growing pine. Yet ,mitigation measures such as these are not well-researched.
The intention with the Forest and moose (Skog og elg) project is to investigate mitigation measures, providing new and relevant knowledge for an integrated management of forest and moose in Norway. We aim to increase the general understanding of moose-forest interactions, providing innovative knowledge that is directly applicable to the forestry industry. Our research will benefit forest-based industries, as well as small local landowners by addressing consumptive and non-consumptive effects of moose on forest and wildlife resources.