Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Scent-marking, forest clearing and supplemental feeding reduce moose Alces alces–train collisions along the Rørosbanen railway line, southern Norway

Published source details

Andreassen H.P., Gundersen H. & Storaas T. (2005) The effect of scent-marking, forest clearing, and supplemental feeding on moose-train collisions. Journal of Wildlife Management, 69, 1125-1132


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Install barrier fencing along railways Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A before-and-after study in 1985–2003 in forest in southern Norway (Andreassen et al. 2005) found that 1 km of fencing eliminated moose Alces alces collisions with trains along that stretch. The exception was one killed at the fence end. Within the wider study area, there were 0.58 moose/km killed each winter during the study period. In 1995, a 1-km-long wire-mesh fence was erected alongside a railway line. Moose-train collisions along a 100-km stretch of the railway line were recorded from July 1985–April 2003.

(Summarised by Rebecca K. Smith)

Provide food/salt lick to divert mammals from roads or railways Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, site comparison study in 1985–2003 along a railway through forest in Hedmark County, Norway (Andreassen et al. 2005) found that intercept feeding stations reduced moose Alces alces collisions with trains. There was an estimated 40% collision reduction following feeding station establishment, equating to six fewer moose collisions/year. Providing intercept feeding stations and clearing vegetation >30cm high from alongside the railway did not significantly further reduce collisions (5% reduction) compared to implementing just one of these treatments. Before providing feeding stations, 2.5 times more moose were killed/km/year within treatment sections compared to comparison sections. Numbers killed/km in treatment sections were fairly constant but casualties increased in comparison sections over the study period. Moose feeding stations were established, in 1995, along a 100-km-long railway section. Feeding stations were in side-valleys, linked to three railway sections (4, 6 and 8 km long). Landowners provided food during the winter, using baled grasses and silage and/or herbs, from when snow accumulated until April–May. Sections without treatments were also monitored (total 49 km long). Moose-train collisions were recorded from July 1985–April 2003.

(Summarised by Rebecca K. Smith)

Modify vegetation along railways to reduce collisions by reducing attractiveness to mammals Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A site comparison study in 1985–2003 along a railway through forest in Hedmark County, Norway (Andreassen et al. 2005) found that vegetation clearance alongside the railway reduced moose Alces alces collisions with trains. Fewer moose were killed after clearance (1.3/km/year) than before (2.6/km/year). Providing feeding stations away from the railway during winter in addition to clearing vegetation alongside the railway did not significantly further reduce collisions (5% reduction) compared to clearing vegetation alone. Before clearance, there were 2.5 times more moose killed/km/year within treatment sections compared to comparison sections. Numbers killed/km in treatment sections were fairly constant but casualties tended to increase in comparison sections over the study period (see paper for details). Eight forest clearings (1–14 km long) were established from 1990 to 2002 along a 100-km-long railway section. Vegetation >30 cm high was cut each year from alongside the railway. Sections without treatments were monitored as comparison sites (49 km). Moose-train collisions were recorded from July 1985–April 2003.

(Summarised by Rebecca K. Smith)

Use chemical repellents along roads or railways Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A before-and-after, site comparison study in 1985–2003 along a railway through forest in Hedmark County, Norway (Andreassen et al. 2005) found that chemical scent-based repellent did not reduce moose Alces alces collisions with trains. In scent-marked areas, there was an average of 0.3 collisions/km/year when scent marks were applied compared to 1.8/km/year before. However, there was large variation in effectiveness between sections and the reduction was not statistically significant. Numbers killed/km/year in non-treated sections tended to rise over the study period (see paper for details). Along a 100-km-long stretch of railway, ten 500-m-long sections were sprayed with repellent during the winter of 1994–1995 and a further 10 in 1995–1996, during the first days when snow exceeded 20 cm depth. The repellent 'Duftzaun' (components from brown bear Ursus arctos, wolf Canis lupus, lynx Lynx lynx and humans) was sprayed on trees and bamboo canes at 5-m intervals. One treatment lasted 3–4 months. Sections without treatment (total 49 km) were also monitored. Moose-train collisions were recorded from July 1985–April 2003.

(Summarised by Rebecca K. Smith)