MOOSE-VEHICLE COLLISIONS IN NEWFOUNDLAND - MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE 1990'S
Collisions between moose and vehicles on Newfoundland highways have increased considerably since the early 1980’s. Recorded collisions went up from 228 in 1983 to 432 in 1989, increasing from 2.3% to 2.9% of total accidents between these years. The increase in moose-vehicle collisions has been partially attributed to greater traffic speeds, more vehicles, and an increase in truck transport brought on by the closing of the Newfoundland railway in 1987. The largest contributing factor however is perceived to be an increase in moose numbers, especially in areas traversed by roadways. Hunter trend data suggest that moose numbers island-wide increased 26% between 1983 and 1989, while the number of registered vehicles grew by 46% and total accidents increased by 49%. Moose-vehicle collisions increased by 89% during this time. In June and July 1990, 4 people were killed in collisions with moose, and the Department subsequently assigned 3400 additional moose licenses for Moose Management Areas traversed by, or adjacent to the Trans-Canada Highway. At the same time public information pamphlets were circulated, and steps taken to upgrade moose warning signs along the highway. Various harvest options, mitigation techniques, and driver education programs are discussed which might more effectively reduce moose-vehicle collisions.
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