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Moose Health Monitoring

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Ahtna Intertribal Resource Commission works to conserve, manage, and develop fish, wildlife, and plant resources in the Ahtna Traditional Territory according to culturally relevant values.  AITRC incorporates scientific best practices with traditional ecological knowledge to fill data gaps to better inform management and answer questions or concerns brought to us. 

When AITRC's Board and other Tribal citizens brought concerns over changes in subsistence foods they are consuming. After hearing these concerns, AITRC formed the Moose Health Monitoring Program.

Moose have a cultural and economic importance, as well as, a practical importance to subsistence harvesters. Living off the land means cleaner, fresher, and more nutritious food. Monitoring the health of harvested moose will allow us to identify areas of concern, whether that be moose reproduction, moose health, or human health.

Sample Collection >>>

AITRC is asking harvesters to collect samples from moose. The size of the samples are:

  • Liver (2 in x 2 in) 

  • Kidney (a 1/2 in slice from center)

  • Muscle Tissue (2 in x 2 in)

  • Jaw bone or 2 incisor (front) teeth

  • 4+ fecal pellets

  • 5+ hairs with root

Please keep samples frozen until they can be delivered to AITRC or an AITRC employee can pick them up.


Sampling kits will be available at AITRC, ADF&G, BLM, and NPS. Furthermore, if you would like to get a sampling kit and cannot pick one up you can call AITRC and we can set up a time to deliver to you and your community. Samples can also be put in Ziploc bags- one sample per bag, if you do not have a sampling kit, and the data form can be printed off of AITRC’s website. AITRC will analyze the samples for heavy metals and other elements. This information will let us examine the health of the moose and the implications of consumption. There is no known risk of consumption at this time.

Sample Sizes>>>

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This project will not be possible without generous sample donations from harvesters. We thank you for taking the time to fill out the data sheet and collect samples so we can continue to do research that is important to the Ahtna people and the surrounding community.

As a sign of our thanks, those who submit a filled-out data sheet and all samples to AITRC will have their names entered in a drawing for 1 of 3 - $100 Bass Pro gift cards.

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