Motorists urged to watch out for moose

Jason Groves’ photo of a moose crossing the Copper River Highway won second place in the 2017 Cordova, Alaska Photographers’ Calendar contest. Photo by Jason Groves/For The Cordova Times

Biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game are urging motorists to use extra caution during these winter days of often dim light and hazardous road conditions to avoid moose-vehicle collisions.

According to Kenai area wildlife biologist Jeff Selinger, the majority of Alaska’s road kills occur during winter months.

“Decreased visibility due to lack of daylight, icy roads and moose movement patterns all contribute to the increased collision rates we see at this time of year,” Selinger said.

Visibility hazards are further compounded when accumulating snow forces moose into lowland areas, around highways where travel is easier and food sources more exposed. The combination can be deadly for moose and motorists alike when vehicles traveling at normal highway speeds collide with animals that may weigh between 500 and 1,000 pounds.

Drivers are urged to stay alert, keep vehicle headlights and windshields clean and observe highway warning signs marking high-moose-vehicle collision and known moose crossing areas.