The moose

Jämtland's regional animal

Latin: Alces Alces

Since childhood, we've all probably heard that the moose is the king of the forest, with its high wither height and elegant antlers. Today, the moose is also the largest deer species, and its fur can vary from dark brown to, in rare cases, entirely white! Moose are found throughout Sweden, except on Gotland. The male is called a bull, while the female is called a cow, and if the female hasn't given birth to a calf, she's referred to as a heifer.

Moose are herbivores and feed on fruits, berries, grass, herbs, leaves, twigs, aquatic plants, etc. Depending on the season, the forest king consumes between 3-15 kg of food per day (dry weight). An adult moose doesn't have many predators in Sweden, but if it encounters a wolf pack, it could be in trouble.

We usually find moose in deciduous forests or mixed forests within a temperate to subarctic climate. Unlike many deer species that travel in herds, moose typically roam alone. Mating occurs in autumn, and the calves are usually born between May and June the following year. Calves stay with their mother for about a year before being weaned.

The magnificent antlers

Only the bull bears antlers, which begin to grow when the bull is 2 years old and are then called "bicycle handlebars." Moose shed their antlers every year, and then they grow new ones; it has been measured that they grow up to 2.5 cm per day! The antlers are largest when the moose is between 6-12 years old, after which they decrease in size. If you encounter a moose in northern Sweden, it will likely have palmate antlers, while moose in southern Sweden usually have cervina antlers.

How can I encounter a moose?

Between September and November, the chances of encountering a moose in the forest increase, partly due to the rutting season, which increases moose activity, and partly due to food availability. Moose approaching humans are usually out of curiosity, but remember that moose can become aggressive if they feel threatened, so enjoy them from a distance!


Height: 1.4 - 2.1 m (wither height)
Length: 2.4 - 3.1 m
Female weight: 200 - 500 kg
Male weight: 380 - 700 kg
Lifespan: 15 - 25 years

Distribution in Sweden: All provinces except Gotland

Track shape and size: Length: 13 - 15.5 cm. Width: 10.5 - 13 cm.

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