• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 27s

Moose-vehicle crashes spike by more than 200 percent

By KTVA Alaska 7:03 AM January 30, 2014

The Alaska Moose Federation has collected data that shows an increase in vehicle-moose collisions.

ANCHORAGE - It isn’t uncommon to see traffic stopped to allow moose to cross on roads like the Seward Highway, but drivers don’t always see the moose before it’s too late too avoid it.

Animal experts said speed plays a role in the number of moose and vehicle collisions, but what’s been attracting moose toward roads over the past year may be responsible for more than doubling the number of vehicle and moose collisions.

Now, experts at the Alaska Moose Federation said the number of moose-vehicle collisions has jumped so much in just one year it’s becoming both a major wildlife and public safety issue.

The Alaska Moose Federation is a nonprofit group that is called by area law enforcement every time a vehicle strikes a moose in the state.

“We have a team of volunteers and trucks, statewide, that are called every time a moose is hit by a car,” said Gary Olson, the federation’s executive director. “We pick up the moose and we deliver it to the charities.”

Every time a vehicle crashes into a moose, AMF said, about $35,000 in damage is done. In December 2012, moose collision costs for the Mat-Su totaled nearly $1 million, it said. In December 2013, just one year later, AMF’s data shows the moose collision costs jumped to more than $2.6 million.

Olson said 75 moose were hit in December of 2013; an increase of 267 percent.

That’s 28 moose-vehicle collisions in the Mat-Su in December 2012. AMF’s data suggests that number jumped up to 75 in the same area in a similarly mild December just one year later.

“As growing populations increase and we’re building areas, building into the natural habitat of the moose, they’re given fewer options on where to go,” said Patrick Lampi, executive director of the Alaska Zoo.

That is forcing moose into residential and business areas and out onto roads, Lampi said, leaving the zoo to take in moose orphaned by road collisions, among other things.

But what is driving the 267 percent increase in moose-vehicle collisions in the Mat-Su that AMF is reporting? Olsen said numerous reports of moose licking roads and cars offered him a clue.

“Molasses has been added to deicing agents by DOT,” Olsen said.

Olsen believes a new deicing agent the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities puts on roads to make them safe could actually be attracting moose. He said he took his concerns to ADOT&PF, but left with more questions than answers.

“They’ve said it has not been sprayed in the Mat-Su so that may not be the problem, but something is happening that’s drawing moose into corridors,” Olson said. “Most of the solution lies outside the highway corridor. We need habitat enhancement out there, we need diversionary programs, diversionary trails, other stuff in the wintertime to really get these moose out there rather than on the corridor.”

To avoid catching a moose in the headlights, they said in some cases the solution is as simple as slowing down.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Parnell fires more National Guard leaders; Walker says ‘too little, too late’

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 20, 23:05

    Alaska’s governor has removed three leaders of the Alaska National Guard, effective immediately. A release from Gov. Sean Parnell’s office states that these transitions in the Guard’s senior leadership were made Monday at the governor’s direction. The removal of the three officials comes at a time when Parnell is in the process of selecting a permanent […]

  • News

    Girl Scouts bring special-needs shopping carts to Sitka

    by Heather Hintze on Oct 20, 19:46

    For those who have children with special needs, everything is a bit more challenging. Recently, Sitka resident Jeff Bentley brought his daughter, Jema, along on a trip to the grocery store. The five-year-old has epilepsy and cerebral palsy. “Jema, you want to sit in the cart?” Bentley asked her. The father says even a trip to […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Oct. 20

    by KTVA Weather on Oct 20, 19:44

    Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound can expect clearing skies with some lingering snow showers in the morning. In the Southeast, showers will happen south of Sitka with a possibility of showers to the north. Patchy fog will develop along the land areas. Interior areas will have cloudy skies and flurries possible, while the North […]

  • Lifestyle

    Web Extra: Digging out

    by John Thain on Oct 20, 18:59

    We knew it was coming, but today’s snowfall still felt like a surprise. Were you ready for the snow? We asked some Rabbit Creek residents how they felt about the area’s first measurable snowfall of the season.

  • News

    First snow greets Anchorage

    by Lauren Maxwell on Oct 20, 18:42

    Anchorage’s first measurable snowfall of the season took some people by surprise, while others accepted it in stride. Darnell Little says he knew on Sunday that Monday’s snowfall would take place — not because he heard the weather forecast, but because he looked up at the mountains. “I told my wife, ‘I can’t see the […]

  • News

    ASD bans military recruiters after reports of alleged misconduct

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 20, 18:01

    The Anchorage School District has banned all military recruiters from the district’s campuses until further notice. This decision comes in light of recent reports that allege members of the Alaska Army National Guard’s recruiting staff made inappropriate advances toward high school students. Superintendent Ed Graff with the Anchorage School District says last week’s leak of […]

  • Politics

    Early voting begins in Alaska

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 20, 15:49

    Those who lined up at the Division of Elections headquarters in midtown Anchorage this morning were among the first in the state to cast their ballots for November’s general election. Voters across Alaska have more opportunity than ever before to vote early as the DOE has added 130 new locations for absentee and early voting. Those […]

  • News

    Begich urges more airport screenings for Ebola

    by Associated Press on Oct 20, 15:25

    U.S. Sen. Mark Begich has urged the president to expand health screenings at more international airports, including Anchorage, in response to Ebola concerns. In a letter to President Barack Obama, Begich said such “sensible travel restrictions” must be considered to help contain the outbreak in West Africa and prevent its spread to the U.S. U.S. […]