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Moose are relocating ‘on their own’ to Nevada from Idaho and Utah

A cow moose and her calf are walking on a lush green hill. Many bushes and rock structures are visible throughout the composition.
Nevada Department of Wildlife
A cow moose (right) and her calf are spotted in northeastern Nevada. These large mammals have been seen moving to Nevada from Idaho and Utah.

News brief

In 2018, there were an estimated 50 moose in Nevada. Now, there are more than 100, according to the Nevada Department of Wildlife, and they’re moving into the state without help from wildlife managers.

“This is the first big game species that has kind of ventured into Nevada without our assistance,” said Kari Huebner, a state biologist. “And so they’re doing it on their own. They’re figuring out what type of habitat they like that works for them down here in Nevada.”

As was first reported by the Reno Gazette Journal, the moose are migrating to the state’s northeast corner in Elko and Humboldt counties. Both areas consist of wilderness with large patches of aspen and pine trees near flowing rivers. That’s considered the ideal habitat for moose, which primarily eat large amounts of leaves, twigs and aquatic vegetation.

What’s more, those parts of Nevada have very few sightings of wolves and black bears, two natural predators of moose.

Huebner says moose are likely coming from southern Idaho and western Utah in search of territory to raise their young. Idaho is home to an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 moose and Utah has about 2,500 to 3,000.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Kaleb is an award-winning journalist who joined KUNR as a reporter in November 2021.
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