Had there been records of Moose (Alces alces) in the appalachians?
They are certainly present in the hills of western Massachusetts: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=2&quality_grade=research&subview=map&taxon_id=522193
My memory was “yes” from CT northwards. And iNat seems to agree.
But were there historic records of Moose in the southern u.s part of the appalachians?
I tried to do a bit of googling because I was curious and ended up finding articles talking about how Elk are returning to southern appalachia (which is true, they’ve been reintroduced.)
I feel like if Moose were a historic species that had been extirpated from their range by colonialization like the Elk were, that the park service would have info about it or put in similar efforts https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/elk.htm#:~:text=Elk%20once%20roamed%20the%20southern,killed%20in%20the%20mid-1800s. But, and I say this as a person who is far from a moose expert, don’t they just prefer color temps in general? Sure some of the peaks of the smokies do see cooler temperatures but I don’t see how that could be enough to support a Moose population
Looks like PA may have been their southern limit historically. This is just a quick search and it may not be the accepted opinion.
In the Southern Appalachians? I’d doubt it. Moose are, IIRC, really susceptible to warm weather (one of the reasons they are so uncommon in captivity outside of their native range). The further South one goes down the Appalachians, the less consistently cold habitat space is available and the more that space is fragmented. Not to mention their preference for freshwater habitat spaces like lakes and large ponds, which are (to my knowledge) hard to find along the peaks of the Appalachians.