N.L. moose collisions increasing: RCMP numbers

A man calling on Newfoundland and Labrador to dramatically reduce the number of moose in the province says statistics on road collisions with the animals are alarming.

A man calling on the provincial government to dramatically reduce the number of moose in Newfoundland and Labrador says the number of road collisions with the animals is alarming.

Eugene Nippard said an access to information request for numbers from the RCMP found that there were 741 moose-vehicle collisions in the province in 2010 – twice the number that was reported a decade ago.

"The numbers being doubled like we're seeing. Something has to be done, and we can't wait," said Nippard who is with a group called the Save Our People Action Committees.

Nippard supports a proposed class-action lawsuit to hold the provincial government responsible for injuries due to moose collisions.

Lawyer Ches Crosbie has filed an application to have the lawsuit certified in St. John's.

"Wildlife practices of the defendant have allowed the moose population on the Island to reach numbers in the range of 120,000 to 200,000 … multiplying the danger of moose collisions for users of the highways," says a statement of claim filed Jan. 10.

Nippard said a map of the province that will show where most moose accidents occur is also being created.

Earlier this year, provincial officials said about 700 moose-vehicle accidents are reported annually across Newfoundland and Labrador.

Moose aren't native to the island of Newfoundland. Wildlife officials estimate that, since they were introduced to the province more than a century ago, their population has grown to about 120,000 animals.

Last fall, more than 20,000 people signed the action committee's petition calling on the provincial government to do more to control moose.

In March, the province announced it would increase the number of moose hunting licences it issues this coming fall.