An average male moose weighs 680 kilograms (1,500 pounds), which means that when it dies, a lot of meat goes with it. And as Algonquin Park staff and visitors have recently witnessed, that meat can feed a huge range of animals.
In late December 2016, a moose was killed by a vehicle along Highway 60, which runs east to west through Algonquin Park. According to a recent Facebook post by The Friends of Algonquin Park, a registered charity dedicated to educating the public about the park, the moose was strategically moved to a valley just below the its Visitor Centre.
Normally it’s difficult to spot animals feeding on prey, whether it’s dead or alive. But since the moose carcass was moved to the valley, staff and visitors have witnessed a variety of the park’s carnivores feeding on the meat. As The Friends of Algonquin Park wrote, these animals “depend on the misfortunes of others to survive Algonquin Park’s harsh winter conditions.”
The public is invited to watch for scavengers from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekends. They can also check out the live stream on The Friends of Algonquin Park’s website.
Live webcams showcasing wildlife in its natural habitat, from bald eagles feeding their young to Alaskan brown bears fishing for salmon, have become hugely popular. But few have displayed an event that brings so many different species together.
When the organization first posted about the carcass on January 11, they had only seen a few common ravens and a local red fox, but there was a reported sighting of an Eastern wolf nearby. Sure enough, by the 15th a pack of wolves were heard howling in the valley below the Visitor Centre and one was later spotted on Fork Lake by a visitor.
Alongside this update, the organization posted a picture of the logbook they’ve been keeping of all the animals—mostly ravens, red foxes, and fishers—that have showed up. They titled it “Moose Carcass Watch 2017.”
“Amazing what one moose carcass can provide for the ecosystem,” one commenter aptly pointed out.