Why do moose cross the road?

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University of Saskatchewan study aims to find answers

A moose runs along the road on Appledore Place in St. Johns east end after it was shot with a tranquilizer dart by a wildlife officer. – File photo by Joe Gibbons/ The Telegram

The Canadian Press—Saskatoon, Sask.

A research project at the University of Saskatchewan will try to determine why moose feel moved to cross rural highways.

The study starts this month and will track the movements of 50 moose over a four-year period.

Twenty-five of the creatures along Highway 11 between Saskatoon and Regina will be collared with a built-in satellite phone that sends data back to researchers.

The stretch of road is considered a hot spot for collisions between vehicles and moose.

The Environment Ministry asked researchers to study how moose use their habitat and to identify high-risk collision areas.

It’s hoped the data collected will help develop a long-term moose management strategy.

The collars are designed to fall off after 24 months.

“For two full years, we get very detailed locations on exactly where that moose is every day, all day and night,” said Ryan Brook, project director with the Saskatoon university’s College of Agriculture and Bioresources.

He said there were virtually no moose in rural Saskatchewan 40 or 50 years ago, specifically in the central and southern parts of the province. But now they are causing some problems.

“Concerns about crop damage, damage to fences. And quite a number of people have had close calls, serious injuries, and even a number of deaths from collisions with moose.”

Brook is asking hunters to hold off on shooting moose involved in the project. He said animals in the study can be identified by a white collar and two clearly visible ear tags.

“The cost of buying a collar and getting it on the animal and getting the data is about $5,000 per animal, so we’re hoping that if hunters can leave the collared animals alone then we’ll get a lot more useful information.”

Organizations: College of Agriculture and Bioresources.He, University of Saskatchewan, Canadian Press Environment Ministry Saskatoon university

Geographic location: Saskatoon, Regina

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Recent comments

  • California Pete from NFLD
    February 06, 2013 - 12:05

    Obviously they don't have chickens in Saskatechewan or they would know and then not to ask such a stupid question

  • lonely heart
    February 05, 2013 - 15:34

    i still dont khow why the chicken crossed the road , was it mary brown or the cournel who was chasing him ???

    • Billy Boat
      February 05, 2013 - 23:47

      Why do Moose cross the road???? Hmmmm......I reckon it's for the same reason as the chicken!! What a stupid headline for a news story!

  • Yvette Butt
    February 05, 2013 - 12:55

    Good luck keeping the hunters away....newfoundlanders will kill the last pregnant anything.......ps,....someone needs a little more work to do.....

    • John Paul
      February 05, 2013 - 16:23

      I fail to see what Newfoundland hunters would have to do with a Moose Study being done in Saskatechewan! Perhaps you should read more closely!

    • chuck
      February 05, 2013 - 16:30

      Sorry Evette, but did you not see "between Saskatoon and Regina" I'm pretty sure they haven't moved these to Nl

  • moose hunter
    February 05, 2013 - 12:29

    get serious folks, and stop wasting money on this BS. go to a kindergarten class and get the right answer why moose cross the roads. why do other animals cross the roads? why do ducks/geese like water? moose are territorial animals, they like to be downwind from predators before bedding down for the night. they also like sodium and our highways and vegetation around it is full of sodium, so quit the BS waste of time/money. it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

  • Annie-Girl
    February 05, 2013 - 12:14

    To get to the other side... :)