The state’s moose population is continuing to grow, and with it the risk for potentially serious moose-vehicle collisions on rural highways.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation is warning motorists in the Adirondacks and elsewhere to be especially careful at dawn and dusk this time of year, which is the moose mating season.
That means moose are traveling in search of mates, and could be in roadways or areas where they aren’t normally seen. They are especially active at dawn and dusk, when visibility for drivers is poor.
Last year, DEC officials said there were three moose-vehicle collisions in the state.
DEC officials estimate there are somewhere between 500 and 800 moose now living in the state, most of them in the Adirondacks. However, moose occasionally appear in the Capital Region.
Moose were once native, but were hunted out of existence in the state in about the 1860s. A few began appearing in the state again around 1980. Now, after three decades there is a breeding population living in the state, they said.
Because moose are much larger than deer, there’s a greater risk they will cause serious vehicle damage or human injury if struck. An adult bull moose can weigh 1,400 pounds.
There have been no human fatalities in the state because of moose strikes, but DEC officials said they are concerned because moose are more likely than deer to land on the windshield of even a large pickup truck.
“Moose are especially difficult to see at night because of their dark brown to black coloring and their height — which puts their head and much of their body above vehicle headlights,” DEC officials said in a warning statement.
– Use caution, especially at dawn and dusk. Slow down, stay alert, and watch for animal movement on the sides of the road.
– Use extreme caution if a moose is sighted, because they often bolt into the road at the last minute.
– Since moose often travel in pairs or small groups, if one is spotted, be prepared for others.
– If drivers pass moose, use headlights or flashers to warn other motorists.
– Collisions with moose must be reported to the police.
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Categories: Schenectady County