Did you know that until 1978/1979, there was no breeding population of moose in Colorado? That’s when the mammal was introduced to the North Park area from Wyoming and Utah. The debut was quite successful, and populations have expanded to nearby counties, including Rocky Mountain National Park, and some have even transplanted to the Upper Rio Grande drainage and Grand Mesa.
According to a recent article in the Denver Post, moose populations have quadrupled in North Park since 1979 despite rapid human population growth and commercial development.
The Denver Post reports that with no natural predators, state wildlife data shows that a few breeding pairs introduced in Colorado’s North Park have multiplied to more than 1,690 moose. Some moose have been seen east of the Continental Divide, including in three parts of Rocky Mountain National Park.
The article also explains that the population increase has meant an increase in people applying to hunt them. More than 14,000 applied last year, and 85 moose are killed on average every year.