We analyzed how the application of scent-marking, forest clearing, and supplemental feeding correlated with the number of moose (Alces alces)–train collisions along the most vulnerable railroad stretch in Norway. Data on 1,045 collisions has been compiled for 18 years since 1985, and remedial actions have occurred during various periods since 1990. We used sections of the rail line where remedies had never been applied as control sections to estimate the expected number of collisions per year and per km. In this way, we took into account the yearly variation in the number of accidents by using the difference between the actual number of accidents and the expected number of accidents as our response variable. We compared the difference between periods when remedies were applied to periods without any remedy. We found a general 46% decrease in the number of accidents during years with a remedy compared to what would have been expected the same years without any remedy. Forest clearing and supplemental feeding seem to be reliable ways of reducing the number of collisions. Scent was only applied for short distances in a few years, and the beneficial effects we observed were questionable. We conclude that mitigative efforts may substantially reduce accidental mortality in moose populations if applied for long distances. We discuss the economics of game-vehicle collisions by performing a simple calculation to visualize the need for a bio-economic approach to the problem.
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Vol. 69 • No. 3