RAILWAYS AND MOOSE IN THE CENTRAL INTERIOR OF BRITISH COLUMBIA: A RECURRENT MANAGEMENT PROBLEM
The Canadian National and British Columbia Railways traverse moose winter ranges in the Central Interior. Moose repeatedly intercept and travel along the rail grades. Many moose are injured, crippled or killed. The annual loss of moose to train collisions in the winters of 1969, 1974, 1978 and 1982 was estimated to range from hundreds to in excess of 1000 animals. Normal anti-predator behaviours seem to be of little survival value to moose when confronting trains. Remedial actions necessary to reduce rail mortalities are not apparent at this time. Moose mortality may increase significantly above reported levels when more grain and coal shipments move westward by rail through the Central Interior. Management programs for moose may never achieve their desired goals as continual losses to train traffic may hold population levels below potential.
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