• 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

  • Lifestyle

    Apple will start letting you trade in a broken iPhone

    by Brian Mastroianni / CBS News on Feb 07, 17:32

    If you’ve dropped and cracked your iPhone and are looking to exchange it for a newer model, you will probably like the latest retail initiatives from Apple. The company is reportedly launching a more generous iPhone trade-in program at Apple Stores, as well as in-store installations of iPhone screen protectors, the tech site 9to5Mac reports. Right now, the […]

  • News

    MSU student from Anchorage dies on skiing trip

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 07, 15:56

    The body of 20-year-old Nathaniel “Alex” Wright was found in Hyalite Canyon in Montana after he was reported overdue from a skiing trip. Wright’s girlfriend notified authorities of his absence on Feb. 4 just before 11 p.m., according to Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office. Wright, who was from Anchorage, was studying at Montana State University. He […]

  • Crime

    Big Lake man arrested for burglary and assault

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 07, 15:30

    A man has been arrested for robbing some Big Lake residents and then assaulting them, according to an online Alaska State Trooper dispatch. Troopers responded to the couple’s Ronnie Court residence around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday to investigate a report of a disturbance. Their investigation revealed 25-year-old Jeremiah DeSilva broke into the home, stole some […]

  • Crime

    Washington man arrested for shooting death in Kodiak

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 07, 14:59

    The Kodiak Police Department is investigating a homicide that took place early Sunday morning. KPD was called to the scene of a shooting in Saint Herman Harbor shortly before 1 a.m., according to a statement from police. Responding officers found a 28-year-old man “bleeding from several gunshot wounds,” police said. The victim was taken to […]

  • News

    North Korea praises new rocket’s “fascinating vapor”

    by CBS/AP on Feb 07, 13:56

    For North Korea’s propaganda machine, the long-range rocket launch Sunday carved a glorious trail of “fascinating vapor” through the clear blue sky. For South Korea’s president, and other world leaders, it was a banned test of dangerous ballistic missile technology and yet another “intolerable provocation.” The rocket was launched from North Korea’s west coast only two hours […]

  • Lifestyle

    Alaska Natives discuss what ‘Eskimo’ means to them

    by Charles Enoch / KYUK on Feb 07, 11:19

    This story originates from KYUK Public Media and was published with permission.  BETHEL — After Alaska Airlines unveiled a new look for their airplanes and website many Alaska Natives took offense to a phrase in their new marketing campaign. The phrase has sparked a controversy and a new round of conversations about what the word “Eskimo” means […]

  • News

    AST: Snowmobile crash seriously injures Houston man

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 07, 10:32

    A 29-year-old Houston resident was seriously injured in a snowmobile crash on Saturday night, Alaska State Troopers say. Troopers responded to Backhaus Street in Houston at 11:38 p.m. after being notified of a collision, according to an online dispatch. They found Nickolas Eull, who had been riding his Ski Doo snowmobile when it struck an […]

  • Lifestyle

    Angoon officials worry about mercury in subsistence foods

    by Associated Press on Feb 07, 9:50

    The city and tribal government of Angoon want state health officials to look into mercury levels in seals and other subsistence foods near Hawk Inlet. KTOO-FM reports Angoon officials warned residents not to gather food from west Admiralty Island. Researchers have spotted high mercury levels in a seal that was shared in the village, as […]