• 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

    Alaskans stride for solutions at annual Heart and Stroke Walk

    by Eric Ruble on Sep 24, 18:48

    Considered a growing problem by health professionals, heart disease is the number one killer of Americans. Nearly 1,200 Alaskans joined the fight against it at the Anchorage Heart Walk Saturday morning. “We can think about our own families and friends that are potentially suffering from heart disease and cardiovascular disease, which is turning into an […]

  • News

    Charlotte police release video of Keith Lamont Scott shooting

    by CBS/AP on Sep 24, 17:27

    The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on Saturday released dashcam and bodycam video of the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, as well as photos of the gun and possible marijuana blunt found on Scott when he died. In the dashcam video, Scott can be seen exiting his vehicle before officers start firing. Officers are heard saying “drop the gun, […]

  • Lifestyle

    Mat-Su Borough officials surprised by mountain goat in downtown Palmer

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 24, 17:14

    ANCHORAGE — Matanuska-Susitna Borough Animal Care Officer Nick Uphus arrived in downtown Palmer Friday afternoon to assist police with the unexpected. “I thought it was a loose domestic goat when I got the call. I knew Palmer Police would not put a goat in the back of the squad car,” Uphus said in a Mat-Su […]

  • Lifestyle

    ‘Tangible’ results from Water Innovations for Healthy Arctic Homes conference

    by Davis Hovey / KNOM on Sep 24, 13:29

    On Wednesday, the conference on Water Innovations for Healthy Arctic Homes, or WIHAH, wrapped up in Anchorage. The goal of the conference was to address the challenges of providing safe and affordable access to running water and sanitation. Panelists with different technical backgrounds presented earlier this week. One of the presenters, local Nome resident Megan Alvanna-Stimpfle, says this conference […]

  • News

    East Anchorage home damaged in early morning fire

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 24, 13:04

    A family whose home was damaged during an early morning fire was displaced but did not need help from the American Red Cross, officials say. The fire was reported at 1:43 a.m. at 2436 Havenshire Place, Anchorage Fire Department dispatchers told KTVA. Fifteen units were dispatched and arrived by 1:49 a.m. The fire took nearly […]

  • News

    Sitka group wants plastic bag fee

    by Associated Press on Sep 24, 13:01

    A group is exploring a possible plastic and paper bag fee in Sitka. The Sitka Sentinel reports the first Bags for Change meeting brought in about a dozen people. Supporters say single-use grocery bags harm the environment. A fee could range from 10 to 25 cents on paper and plastic grocery store bags. The group […]

  • News

    Shaktoolik plans to ‘stay and defend’ current location

    by Lauren Frost / KNOM on Sep 24, 12:42

    This August, representatives from Shaktoolik completed a strategic management plan to protect their community from erosion and violent storms. The plan lists nine critical actions, including replacing the health clinic, reinforcing the berm, and building an evacuation center. All of these critical actions are part of the village’s larger goal of remaining at their current […]

  • Crime

    Anchorage chiropractor arrested for child exploitation may have additional victims, police say

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 24, 11:50

    An Anchorage doctor has been arrested on multiple charges related to child exploitation and distribution of child pornography, according to a release from the Anchorage Police Department. Police said it is possible he has additional victims, and some may live outside of Alaska. Online court records show police arrested 31-year-old Jesse Lee Webb on Thursday […]