Wildlife corridors: What a meandering moose says about US wildlife protection efforts

To prevent extinctions and protect habitats, the US has started building wildlife corridors around major roads and cities. A moose spotting is the latest sign that these efforts seem to be paying off


7 February 2023

Moose are known to live across the northern US, but until recently, none had been spotted in south-western Washington state

Design Pics Inc / Alamy Stock Photo

In the dim half-light of winter, a wildlife trail camera in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state captured a surprising sight. Squinting, a curious viewer could just about discern the creature trudging through the snow: “Is that a MOOSE?” the park’s social media account asked incredulously.

The sighting on 8 December was the first moose documented in south-western Washington. It came just a few months after a state Department of Transportation video recording of a moose using a wildlife crossing east of Seattle, near steep Snoqualmie Pass on I-90, the state’s longest freeway. Moose (Alces alces) are found across the northern US but are relatively new to Washington; they only arrived in the north-eastern part of the state in the 1920s. Researchers speculated that the moose may have used the crossing to move into new territory, perhaps the very same animal now exploring Mount Rainier.

The idea of creating animal routes around human development has been around for some 70 years. Yet until recently, some conservationists were sceptical about how much difference these could make. In the past decade, largely thanks to advances in tracking technology, scientific consensus has …


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