MOOSE COLLISIONS WITH VEHICLES AND TRAINS IN NORTHEASTERN MINNESOTA
A minimum of 33 and 26 moose (Alces alces) collisions occurred on highways and railways in northeastern Minnesota during 1993 and 1994, respectively. This represented <1% of the regional moose population estimate and 9-11% of the total annual harvest for the same years. Frequency of collisions increased from February through June, was greatest from June through September, then declined an remained constant from October through January. Vehicle traffic volume explained 59% of the monthly variation in frequency of moose collisions (P = 0.04). More (69%, P < 0.05) moose were struck by vehicles at night then during the day. Frequency of moose-vehicle collisions was similar between sexes (P > 0.05), as was the number of vehicle collisions that involved adults or calves (P > 0.10). Intensive management (e.g. fencing) to reduce the current number of moose collisions cannot likely be justified economically, however, additional placement of signs and public awareness programs should be considered. Moose mortality from vehicle collisions should also be considered in relation to harvest management. I recommend improvement and integration of existing and future moose collision data to more accurately monitor its occurrence in relation to harvests, population trends, and potential future management activities to reduce frequency of collisions.
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