News release

New Mainland Moose Recovery Plan

A new recovery plan will help the long-term recovery of Nova Scotia’s endangered mainland moose population.

A team including wildlife biologists, habitat specialists and veterinary experts from government and academia was appointed in 2019 to create a plan based on the best available scientific knowledge and expertise. It developed a recovery plan to address threats, protect and enhance habitat, improve connectivity and ensure regular monitoring and assessment of population health.

“Moose are an important part of our province’s natural and cultural identity. We now have an evidence-based recovery plan, which sets priorities and timelines for further action to help save this important species,” said Natural Resources and Renewables Minister Tory Rushton. “I thank the recovery planning team for its work and commit to working with our partners to implement the plan, with some actions already started.”

The Department of Natural Resources and Renewables will conduct a baseline survey of the current moose population size and distribution this winter. The results will generate new data and help guide the recovery plan’s ongoing implementation.

The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs will also be consulted on using traditional knowledge to implement the recovery plan.

The recovery plan also identifies areas to be considered for designation as core habitat, which are specific areas essential for recovery and long-term survival. About two-thirds of core habitat is located on Crown land or protected areas.

The Province will continue to require special management practices for any forestry harvest within mainland moose habitat on Crown land. Special management practices ensure habitat for shelter and transit corridors remain in place.

Ecological forestry supports the recovery needs of species at risk. The Department will ensure that the ongoing implementation of these practices on Crown land are aligned with the moose recovery plan.


The recovery team has delivered a plan with the goal of returning populations of these amazing animals to more sustainable levels. There are several factors impacting the mainland moose population, and the recovery plan outlines what we can do to address those factors. Mark McGarrigle, Species-at-Risk Biologist and Mainland Moose Recovery Team Lead, Department of Natural Resources and Renewables

In developing the recovery strategy, the team brought a wealth of different expertise and carefully considered all ecological needs of mainland moose. The final prescriptions in the strategy are rigorous and will be effective. This strategy is the right tool to recover mainland moose populations in Nova Scotia. Joseph Nocera, University of New Brunswick Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management, and Mainland Moose Recovery Team Member

Quick Facts:

  • the mainland moose was added to the endangered species list in 2003
  • factors affecting the mainland moose population include poaching, disease, road collisions, climate change, habitat and habitat connectivity loss
  • there are about 700 mainland moose in Nova Scotia
  • recovery plans are meant to be reviewed every five years and updated every 10 years

Additional Resources:

The mainland moose recovery plan is available at:

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