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Moose crossings signs are in the wrong places

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Research from the University of Northern British Columbia says moose crossing signs don't always indicate where moose are likely to cross. (Roy Rea/UNBC)

They're a familiar sight for anyone travelling on BC's northern highways: bbright yellow signs warning about moose crossings. 
But Roy Rea of the University of Northern British Columbia says many of those signs are out of date. 

"As a kid growing up in Vanderhoof, there was a particular moose warning sign that was in the same place that it was 30 years ago. And I found it maybe a little hard to believe that was still a hot spot," says Rea, who studies moose-vehicle collisions at UNBC. 

Using data from the Ministry of Transportation, he identified 29 collision "hot spots," and confirmed many of the sites had moved over the years.

Nine of the hot spots were near road side salt licks, caused by a build-up of de-icing salt. 

"The moose are attracted to that, because like most animals, they're attracted to salt. And that particular time of year that they do that is June and July, so we're kind of in that peak time of year."

Rea is working with the Ministry to update sign placement, and to find ways to make the licks less attractive.

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