October 23, 2018

Moose Population Up Car Collisions Down in Maine? I Don’t Think So

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Maine’s Portland Press Herald is reporting that Maine’s moose population is up and car collisions with moose are down. “Good news for moose: The overall population is up, but the number of car-moose collisions is trending down.”

The link the Herald provides to substantiate the increase in the moose population is a mostly outdated piece and is being misrepresented in this recent article about moose population increases. To claim a moose population as being up mostly based on an increase in allotted moose permits for this year’s hunt is inaccurate. Newer information provided by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) tells us that biologists have discovered that the number of deadly moose ticks is directly proportional to the number of moose. An increase in moose permits will continue to lower the moose population, in return lowering the tick population.

But if you don’t want to believe any of this information then understand that it doesn’t take that many brains to know that the number of moose have been on the decline for some time. Where 10 to 15 years ago moose numbers were getting to be a nuisance, now it is back to seldom seeing a moose in many places that had become common. This may not hold true in prime moose country but overall the state has a considerably reduced population of moose…and thus, the reason for the decrease in car collisions with moose.

“Kantar says long-term crash data indicate the number of collisions is down “significantly” over the last 15 to 20 years.

“There isn’t a specific reason why that may be, he said…”

Maybe there is no “specific” reason but the main reason has to be a reduced population of moose, not an increase. New signage in certain places and I’ll even give the benefit of the doubt that driver education may be contributing to fewer collisions, but these changes may be only insignificantly limiting moose collisions.

MDIFW is on the right track to continue reducing the moose population to mitigate the needless suffering of moose from the deadly winter tick. In turn, fewer moose means healthier moose which also translates into fewer collisions.

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