More snow means moose move to roads

(Photo via U.S. Fish and Wildlife)

Recent heavy snow accumulation is pushing moose onto Alaska roads. That’s increasing collision danger.

When snow piles up, you’re more likely to encounter moose on roads.

Alaska Moose Federation Director Don Dyer said, ”along the Parks Highway from Big Lake to Talkeetna I counted 40 moose.” He saw the animals while driving the 50-mile stretch of highway last week. He said deep snow has moose moving to where the going is easier.

”It’s tough for them to walk in the forest and the other areas, so they resort to walking on the roads,” Dyer said.

Dyer said about 400 moose are killed by vehicles on Alaska roads every winter, most in the Kenai and Matanuska-Susitna areas but some in Fairbanks as well. The nonprofit Moose Federation salvages road kill moose and provides the meat to charities. Dyer said road kills have tracked a little under normal this winter, but numbers are increasing with the snowpack.

”There’s been more activity in Fairbanks,” Dyer said. “Not as much as Mat-Su, but it’s definitely been an uptick in moose collisions.”

Dyer said the situation could get worse if a crust forms on the snow, making it even more difficult for moose to get around.

Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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