• 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

    Pentagon says it mistakenly shipped live anthrax to numerous labs and to US base in Korea

    by Associated Press on May 27, 17:41

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s investigating what the Pentagon calls an inadvertent shipment of live anthrax spores to government and commercial laboratories. Those labs had expected to receive dead spores. The CDC says, right now, it does not suspect there’s a risk to the general public. However, a U.S. official says […]

  • Sports

    Bartlett headed to state soccer tournament for the first time

    by Dave Leval on May 27, 15:50

    The Bartlett High School Golden Bears have unfinished business to take care of. The boys’ soccer team is headed to the state tournament for the first time. “I can’t even describe it in words, because it feels so good,” said midfielder Lorenzo Froeale. Some members of the Golden Bears admitted that thoughts of the tournament […]

  • News

    Gov. Walker tours Shell drill rig in Seattle

    by Associated Press on May 27, 15:28

    Alaska Gov. Bill Walker toured a massive oil drill rig parked on Seattle’s waterfront Wednesday before meeting with Gov. Jay Inslee to tell him that Washington’s position on future Arctic drilling will hurt his state’s economy. Walker says he was impressed by crew members and the safety features aboard the 400-foot-long Polar Pioneer, which Royal […]

  • Sports

    Asphalt track coming to Alaska Raceway Park

    by Dave Leval on May 27, 13:51

    Alaska Raceway Park will soon give drivers a chance to go in circles. Construction continues on a new one-third mile asphalt track. It will be the only one of its kind in Alaska since the old Northstar Speedway in Wasilla closed in 2012. “We need an asphalt venue here in the state,” said the track’s […]

  • DayBreak

    Russell Davis of ‘Bar Rescue’ tests the waters in Anchorage

    by Daybreak Staff on May 27, 12:48

    He’s a professional mixologist and bartender who has mixed his way to the top. Russell Davis can be seen on Spike TV’s show “Bar Rescue” helping people create cocktails worth drinking. Wednesday, Davis joined Daybreak to talk about what brings him to the 49th state. “So I’m actually here with my team, Unlimited Liabilities,” Davis […]

  • Sports

    East High School moves closer to hosting football on campus

    by Dave Leval on May 27, 10:52

    East High School has played its football games at Anchorage Football Stadium, but that could change. The Thunderbirds are a step closer to playing on campus, possibly this fall. Earlier this spring, boosters sought to raise $143,000 for a new scoreboard. Ads would be sold on it that would raise money for the school. The scoreboard […]

  • News

    Judge to hear arguments in Pebble case

    by Associated Press on May 27, 10:32

    A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments Thursday in a case alleging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency worked with critics of the proposed Pebble Mine with a predetermined goal to block the project. The lawsuit was brought by the Pebble Limited Partnership, which is seeking to advance the project near the headwaters of a […]

  • News

    Alaska National Guard welcomes new commander

    by Shannon Ballard on May 27, 10:00

    The new leader of the Alaska National Guard is starting her job with healing. Scandal rocked the Guard after a scathing report found serious problems in the ranks, including favoritism, lack of trust and allegations of sexual assault. Adjutant Gen. Laurie Hummel says her first priority is regaining that trust. Steps have to be taken […]