May and June most common months for car-moose collisions

11 years ago

    AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and MaineDOT are asking all drivers to take extra precautions during May and June, as these are the most frequent months for vehicle-moose collisions due to a combination of factors, including calving time, weather and salt.

    Cows give birth in May so will drive off yearlings that were born the previous May, leaving many young moose alone for the first time.
    “People should be careful all year, but May and June are definitely the high points for car-moose collisions,” IFW Moose Biologist Lee Kantar said. “This is when you see immature moose wandering around, unsure of themselves,” Kantar said. “It’s not hard for them to get in trouble.”
    After a winter of eating browse, moose often travel more when the weather warms up and greens and other food sources become available to them again. Sodium is also an important part of a moose’s diet, so moose are drawn to roadsides where they can find salt run-offs.
    Nearly 90 percent of vehicle-moose collisions occur between dusk and dawn, when moose move around more and when it is especially hard to see their dark coloring. A moose’s tall stature also means you won’t typically see their eyes illuminated in your car’s headlights as you sometimes do with deer.
    DOT officials caution that drivers who do see a moose in a roadway, should stop, stay in their vehicle and give it time to get away.
    To minimize your chances of being involved in a collision with a moose, take these steps:
    • Reduce your speed after dark.
    • Use high beams whenever possible.
    • Drivers are also reminded to always wear a seat belt.
    For more information, visit www.mefishwildlife.com or http://www.maine.gov/mdot.