ADF&G Permits Efforts to Lure Moose from Roadways
Due to near-record snowfalls resulting in increased conflicts between moose and people, today the Alaska Department of Fish and Game issued a permit to the Alaska Moose Federation that authorizes diversionary feeding of moose in Game Management Units 13, 14, 15, and 16. The area includes most of the Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna, and Kenai Peninsula Boroughs.
“We are authorizing this extraordinary step due to public safety concerns. We hope the diversionary feeding stations will lure moose away from roads and will reduce moose-vehicle collisions and other dangerous encounters,” said Tony Kavalok, Assistant Director of the Division of Wildlife Conservation. This diversionary feeding permit allows the permit holder, not the general public, to feed moose. “This program is warranted only under exceptional circumstances such as has been created by this years’ snow conditions,” said Kavalok.
Moose favor areas with less snow including plowed roads, railways, and driveways. This year’s heavy snowfall has resulted in increased moose related vehicle accidents and antagonistic encounters. Diversionary feeding, along with packing down trails leading away from roads to feeding stations and areas with natural foods, can reduce conflicts between moose and people.
The Alaska Moose Federation expressed an interest in establishing diversionary feeding stations to attempt to reduce moose-vehicle collisions and they have the volunteers and equipment needed to carry out the program.
ADF&G reminds the public that feeding big game animals, including moose, is prohibited without a permit issued by the department. Unauthorized feeding of moose is a class A misdemeanor and results in hazards for those providing the food and for their neighbors. Moose can get demanding, territorial, and aggressive when protecting a food supply. Feeding moose near homes and inhabited areas inevitably results in conflict with humans. The prohibition on public feeding of moose also protects moose from ingesting poor quality or toxic foods. Even though moose might eat food offered by people, they may not be digestible and moose can suffer serious health consequences.
“This winter people should be extra vigilant around moose because they may be stressed and more aggressive due to the deep snow,” said Kavalok. “Give them an extra, extra-wide berth this year.” Drivers should also slow down and be alert especially during times of reduced visibility and poor road conditions.
Posted: February 6, 2012