Mainly poaching, shooting in Austria, suitable biotopes wastage and collisions on the roads and railways cause a decrease of the moose number in Central Europe. Conservation organization European Wildlife has therefore started a rescue programme for this significant animal species.
A very bad situation is mainly in the Czech Republic where the moose population has been constantly falling since the 80s of the last century. In recent years there became extinct three of five populations of these animals. „In two other populations the number of animals is lower than in the 80s,“ stated zoologist Pavlina Wiedenova from South Bohemian University. In one of two other remaining populations the moose number has decreased of about one half or two thirds for recent thirty years.
Besides poaching scientists call the moose shooting in Austria as one of the main causes of their wastage in Central Europe. Scientists claim in this country hunters are able to obtain very easily an exception for the moose shooting. „That is why we are going to struggle for a restriction of hunting these endangered animals which migrate to Austria mainly from the Czech Republic or Poland,“ stated Dalibor Dostal, the director of conservation organization European Wildlife. A part of the rescue programme is also a dialogue with offices in the countries of Central Europe, the dialogue should call attention to a necessity of more extensive construction of green bridges over main roads and railways. The green bridges should enable the moose to overcome safely the busy communications.
A comparison of the moose development in neighbour Poland shows how fragile is the moose population in the Czech Republic. While in Poland there lived 18 individuals of the moose in the Area of Augustow wild forest after the second world war, now there lives about 2, 800 moose in Poland. In the Czech Republic the moose was exterminated in 1570. The first moose came back in 1957 and in 1980 the population in the Czech Republic reached up to 50 pieces. Now it is probably less than a half of it.
The moose is the biggest family of deer member. An adult male weighs about 220 to 450 kilogrammes, the length of its body is 2 to 3 metres, the height in withers is 180 to 235 centimetres. The moose has extendable cloven hoofs with a big step space for soft soil movement and it swims well. Its antlers is of a shovel shape with the weight up to 20 kilogrammes.