FREDERICTON, NB [Oct 2nd, 2018]— Watch for Wildlife is asking drivers to take extra care to avoid collisions with wildlife over the Thanksgiving long weekend and into the weeks that follow.
“It’s that time of year again,” says Kristin Elton, Watch for Wildlife’s Outreach Coordinator for New Brunswick. “The annual fall rut for deer and moose is upon us, so these animals are on the move looking for mates. As a result, they are crossing more roads as they move through the landscape on their search.”
These animals are most active at dawn and dusk and with decreasing daylight hours, more drivers are on the roads at this time. This, combined with the change in animal behaviour, results in a spike in deer and moose collisions at this time of year.
Mating season also causes deer and moose to be bolder so they may be less apprehensive of roads and people. The onset of hunting season and colder weather also means deer, moose and other wildlife are moving from place to place and may run and bolt suddenly.
The Watch for Wildlife program urges drivers to be extra aware driving over the next month and to keep in mind tips for preventing collisions including:
- paying extra attention at the wheel and obeying the speed limit, especially in areas where you aren’t familiar with the road
- scanning ahead and looking for movement or shining eyes on the sides of the road
- slowing down when you see an animal if it is safe to do so as even a slight reduction in speed can give animals enough time to get out of the way safely and
- if a collision is inevitable, the best thing to do is ‘steer for the rear’ of the deer or moose, as this is less likely to cause as much damage as hitting the animal straight on.
Beyond the increased risk of interactions on the roads, it is also important to give these animals extra space if you encounter them on your property or out on the trails, in order to avoid human-wildlife conflicts in general.
For further tips on preventing wildlife-vehicle collisions, you can visit Watch for Wildlife’s website at www.watchforwildlife.ca for more information.