MOOSE VEHICLE INTERACTIONS AND AN ASSOCIATED PUBLIC AWARENESS PROGRAM ON THE KENAI PENINSULA, ALASKA
Moose roadkill information was presented for the years 1977-1991. Mean numbers of moose killed were 111.7 ± 19 for 1977-82 and 216.3 ± 25 for 1984-89. Information for 1983 was not available. The 1989-90 kill of 366 moose was extremely high because of severe winter conditions and high moose concentrations along highways. Roadkills during the 1990-91 season were slightly higher (234) than the mean for 1984-89 but included additional reports from outlying communities. Figures without these communities (177) show a decrease of 18%. A public awareness program initiated in October 1990 increased people's understanding of potential hazards of encountering moose on Peninsula roads and hopefully reduced moose roadkills. Primary factors for moose-vehicle accidents were an increase in the Peninsula's human population and improved road maintenance allowing motorists to travel at higher speeds. Secondary factors include decreased visibility from encroaching vegetation and short winter days. Cooperating agencies included Alaska State Troopers, Fish and Wildlife Protection, Department of Fish and Game, and Department of Transportations and Public Facilities. Additionally, several local citizens representing various organizations and three elementary schools participated. A multi-media approach was used to educate the widest group of motorists consisting of public service announcements, bumper stickers, window signs, road signs, and colouring posters for elementary school children. The slogan “Give Moose A Brake” was adopted to remind motorists to slow down and drive with caution.
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