The moose (Alces alces
) is a large ungulate (a mammal with hooves) that is popular with hunters and wildlife watchers alike. The species, the largest member of the deer (Cervidae
) family, occurs throughout most of Alaska and Canada, as well as in parts of Eurasia, and in areas of the northeastern, midwestern, and western United States. Moose prefer forest habitats, especially those locations with a mixture of wooded areas and open areas near lakes or wetlands. Some moose make short migrations between summer and winter habitats. Moose usually occur singly or in small groups.
Moose breed in the late summer or early fall, and females typically give birth to one (rarely two) calves in late spring. Moose are herbivores that prefer to feed on aquatic vegetation and new woody growth during the spring and summer. During the winter, when preferred food items are not available, moose switch to a diet of bark and twigs from evergreen and deciduous trees. Moose are active both day and night, but peak activity occurs near dawn and dusk.