• ABOUT US

     

    Watch for Wildlife (W4W) is a wildlife-vehicle collision prevention program of Sierra Club Canada Foundation’s Atlantic Chapter. Initiated in 2016 in Nova Scotia, Watch for Wildlife was developed in response to a recognized need for greater awareness about wildlife-vehicle collision prevention and increasing safety on our roads for both people and wildlife. The program aims to educate drivers on ways to prevent collisions with wildlife, encourage collision reporting and data collection, and advocate for the inclusion of wildlife collision mitigation plans in road design and transportation policy. After two years in Nova Scotia, the program was successfully expanded to New Brunswick in Summer 2018.

     

    The objective of the program is straightforward: to reduce injury and mortality of wildlife and people on our roads, and to encourage the implementation of wildlife-friendly road design and vehicle-collision mitigation measures.

  • Collisions Prevention & Response

    In this section: Prevent Collision Tips, Contact information and How to respond in case of collision with wildlife. Watch for Wildlife is a program of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation and is about public education and collision prevention tips, and we accept no liability. Driver Safety is the priority in every case.

    Tips for Preventing Wildlife Vehicle Collisions

    (Image Credit: Putneypics )

     

    The hours between 6 and 9 at Dawn and Dusk are when most collisions with vehicles occur. Be particularly careful at these times of day.

     

    1. Watch your speed -  collisions with wildlife can be sometimes be avoided if you have time to slow up and avoid a collision, especially on rural roads. 
    2. Scan Ahead - Scanning ahead for animals helps you to see them before they are in your path. Watch especially for the light of their eyes reflecting your lights at night and use your high beam headlights as often as possible. Note: the eyes of Moose don't reflect well.
    3. Honk Your Horn -  a few short horn blasts helps to alert animals to get out of the way instead of freezing in place by instinct (turtles, snakes and birds, not so much).
    4. Brake to Slow down (Don't swerve!) - if an animal is on the road, brake gently to slow down, but don't swerve or stop suddenly. It is important that your reaction to avoid wildlife doesn't endanger yourself or other drivers.
    5. Proceed Carefully - If you see an animal on or near the road, slow up slightly to see what they are going to do - they can be unpredictable - and look around for others. Animals often travel together and young animals follow their mothers. Scan around without stopping to see if there are others and then proceed cautiously.
    6. Flick your lights - to warn oncoming cars of the hazard ahead. Even if they don't understand the signal to mean there is a wildlife hazard ahead, they will likely recognize you are giving a warning signal and will pay added attention.
    7. Don't Litter! Throwing garbage and food out vehicle windows attracts animals onto the road. It may seem innocent and harmless enough to throw an apple core or banana peel out the window because they are biodegradable, but wildlife and birds will be attracted to food on the road, which often means they will be injured or killed. Garbage will also attract them. Adopt-a-Highway is working with us to share the importance of not littering to prevent wildlife collisions, and volunteering with them to help clean up roads in your area can help. More info here: https://www.adoptahighwayns.ca

    For More Information:

     

    The Traffic Injury Research Foundation has developed an excellent online resource for Preventing Vehicle Collisions with wildlife. For more links, scroll down to the Links section.

     

    Find specific advice when encountering different kinds of wildlife and much other information, go here: http://wildliferoadsharing.tirf.org

     

    If you do Hit a Wild Animal or other creature with your Vehicle ...

    Image Credit: Lenn Wagg

     

    If you do hit a wild animal or other creature with your vehicle,

    there are a number of things you can and should do:

     

    Pull safely off the road (if possible). Assess yourself and others in the vehicle to make sure everyone is okay.
     

    Check to see if the animal is alive or dead (from a safe distance). If dead, see if there are any young animals with it. If it is still alive and/or has eggs or young, call a Wildlife Rescue or the Department of Natural Resources.

     

    Report the collision to the appropriate organization to deal with the result of the collision (Wildlife Rescue, Department of Natural Resources, Species at Risk reporting and/or 911/RCMP - see the Contact Information). Report the collision to your insurance company and the police, if substantial damage has occurred.

    Report Collisions with Wildlife

    Image Credit: Peggy Scanian

        

    Watch for Wildlife encourages drivers to STOP if you hit wildlife and call the appropriate contact, and also to report wildlife carcasses you see for a number of reasons:

     

    1. Alleviate suffering of wildlife - Wildlife is not always killed instantly when it is hit, and injured wildlife should be reported to a Wildlife Rescue and/or the Department of Natural Resources (if a large animal).
    2. Contribute important data - Collision data helps wildlife managers and transportation designers to identify hotspot collision areas and species movement patterns toward developing collision mitigation measures (e.g. signs, wildlife underpasses, overpasses, fences, etc.). It is especially important to report a collision with a species at risk.
    3. Species viability - It is difficult to know how many members of species are injured and killed on Nova Scotia roads due in part to under-reporting collisions. More reporting equals more collision data that can help managers to assess the viability of populations and serve as a baseline.

     

  • Contacts

    The following contacts are available is you are in a collision with wildlife or see an injured animal on the road.

    Wildlife Rescue Centres

    If you hit or see wildlife that is injured and still alive, or has eggs or young with it, contact your local wildlife rescue centre.

     

    Hope for Wildlife, Seaforth, NS

    - (902) 407 WILD (9453)

    Cobequid Wildlife Rehab, below Truro

    - (902) 893 0253

    Atlantic Wildlife Institute, north of Sackville, NB

    - (506) 364 1902

    SOS Miss Dolittle Centre d'aide pour animaux sauvages, St-Henri-de-Lévis, QC

    - (418) 561 2484

    Provincial Wildlife Departments

    Always report collisions with wildlife to the appropriate government organization.

     

    Nova Scotia

    DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

    - 1 (800) 565 2224

     

    New Brunswick

    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY & RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT

    NATURAL RESOURCES DIVISION

    - 1 (506) 453 2684

     

    Québec

    MINISTÈRE DES FORÊTS, DE LE FAUNE ET DES PARCS

    - 1 (877) 346 6763

    Provincial Ministries of Transportation

    Nova Scotia

    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE RENEWAL

    - 1 (844) MYNSRDS (696 7737)

     

    New Brunswick

    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE

    - 1 (506) 453 3939

     

    Québec

    TRANSPORTS QUÉBEC

    - 511 (In Québec)

    1 (888) 355 0511

    RCMP/Local Police

    Call RCMP dispatch or our local police if a large animal is injured and

    is in distress, and/or wildlife is a safety hazard to drivers.

  • Downloadable Brochures

    Our informational brochures contain tips for how to prevent collisions, what to do in a collision, and relevant contact information.

    Download, print, and keep in your glove compartment so you have it when you need it.

  • Citizen-Science Reporting

    It is important to report wildlife-vehicle collisions and road-kill sightings as this data informs where improvements to road infrastructure can be made: like adding signs, fencing, crossing structures, and other measures to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions.

    You can report sightings of wildlife on the road (alive or deceased) to:

     

    The WildPaths Maritimes citizen-science data collection project on iNaturalist.org.

    This data can then be verified and used by scientists, conservation planners, and policy makers to make our roads safer for both people and wildlife.

  • Learn How To Contribute

    The WildPaths Maritimes project was created by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). For more information on the project, visit their website here.

     

    Interesting in participating in a more formal way? Contact NCC to inquire about adopting a road that you travel frequently to survey and report your wildlife sightings.

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  • Research & Links

    Wildlife Vehicle Conflicts Research and Links - updated regularly

    Wildlife and Roads Research and Articles, Nova Scotia

    Beazley, K., T. Snaith, F. MacKinnon, and D. Colville. 2004. "Road density and potential impacts on wildlife species such as American moose in mainland Nova Scotia." Proceedings of the Nova Scotian Institute of Science 42(2): 339357.

     

    Burke, David. Roadkill Deaths Driving some Species to the Edge. CBC News, October 7, 2017. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/roadkill-deaths-driving-some-species-to-the-edge-1.4343495

     

    Fudge, David, Freedman, Bill, Crowell, Michael, Nette, Tony and Power, Vince. “Road-kill of Mammals in Nova Scotia”. Canadian Field Naturalist.

     

    Horne, D. and Rostad, K. Wildlife Corridors in Southwestern Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia. Compiled for the Ecology Action Centre www.aapt.ca/images/publications/corridor_design_hornerostad.pdf

     

    Lowe, Lezlie. “A final resting place: Touring a Nova Scotia carcass disposal site.

    Chronicle Herald. December 21, 2013.

     

    Nadeem, Khurram and Zhang, Yin. In–Depth Analysis of Deer Management in Nova Scotia: A Critique of Current Policy and Suggestions for Future Management Approaches. Acadia University. Feb 28, 2014. Nova Scotia Habitat Conservation Fund, 2014.

     

    White, Stephanie. 2017. Masters Thesis, Acadia University. Monitoring mammal movement through a wildlife underpass and culvert in Antigonish, Nova Scotia using remote camera sensing

    Road Ecology Links and Research, Canada

    Acadia Researcher Finding a Way to Make Nova Scotia Roads Safer for People and Animals Alike.

    http://theath.ca/uncategorized/acadia-researcher-finding-a-way-to-make-nova-scotia-roads-safer-for-people-and-animal-alike

     

    Alberta - SafeRoads: https://saferoads.com/drivers/safety-issues/wildlife/wildlife

     

    BC Wildlife Collision Prevention Program. http://www.wildlifecollisions.ca/default.aspx

     

    Data Collection of amphibians in Saanich http://hat.bc.ca/i-want-to/news-and-events/566-collaboration-for-amphibians-breeds-innovation-in-saanich

     

    Eco-Kare https://eco-kare.com/designing-mitigation-systems/

     

    Highway Wilding - an excellent documentary about developing wildlife crossings in the Banff area and elsewhere.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mx4eJH-lI_w

     

    Newfoundland - Evaluation of Moose-Vehicle Collision Mitigation Pilot Initiatives Department of Transport, March, 2014. http://www.tw.gov.nl.ca/publications/Evaluation%20of%20Moose-Vehicle%20Collision%20Mitigation%20Pilot%20Initiatives.pdf

     

    Ontario Road Ecology Group, Royal Ontario Museum. 2010. A Guide to Road Ecology in Ontario, prepared for the Environment Canada Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk.

     

    Ontario Ministry of Transportation - Environmental Guide to Mitigating Road Impacts to Wildlife. http://www.raqsa.mto.gov.on.ca/techpubs/eps.nsf/0/666ad1222e39a2d7852572b300578def/$FILE/Environmental%20Guide%20for%20Mitigating%20Road%20Impacts%20to%20Wildlife%20Final%20March%202017%20-%20ENGLISH%20ACC.pdf

     

    Seburn Ecological Services, Ontario. Road Mitigation for Amphibians and Reptiles. 2016 https://seburn.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/road-mitigation-for-amphibians-and-reptiles/

     

    Traffic Injury Research Foundation's online resource for Preventing Vehicle Collisions with wildlife in Canada (has extensive information, background research and links): http://wildliferoadsharing.tirf.org

     

    Ro​ad Ecology Research, Links and Media, International

     

    California Roadkill Observation System. http://www.wildlifecrossing.net/california/ (Dr. Fraser Shilling)

     

    Cost–Benefit Analyses of Mitigation Measures Aimed at Reducing Collisions with Large Ungulates in the United States and Canada: a Decision Support Tool

    Marcel P. Huijser , John W. Duffield , Anthony P. Clevenger , Robert J. Ament and Pat T. McGowen

    https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss2/art15/main.html

     

    Designing Mitigation Systems, Eastern Ontario. (turtles). With video. Eco-Kare. March 10, 2017.

    https://eco-kare.com/designing-mitigation-systems/designing-mitigation-systems-eastern-ontario/

     

    Earth Touch News Network. June 2014. “Roadkill Problem? There’s an App for that.

    http://www.earthtouchnews.com/conservation/human-impact/roadkill-problem- theres-an-app-for-that

     

    Evaluation of Wildlife Crossing Structures on US 93 in Montana's Bitterroot Valley. Patricia Cramer and Robert Hamlin, report authors. Department of Transportation. http://www.mdt.mt.gov/research/projects/env/us93_wildlife.shtml February, 2017

     

    “Monitoring Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions in the Information Age: How Smartphones can Improve Data Collection.” Plus One - Olson, Daniel D. Olson, Bissonette, John A, Cramer, Patricia C., Green, Ashley D., Davis, Scott T., Jackson, Patrick J., Coaster, Daniel C. PLOS One, June 4, 2014.

     

    Roads are driving rapid evolutionary change in our environment, February 16, 2017

    http://phys.org/news/2017-02-roads-rapid-evolutionary-environment.html

     

    Safety Resources (numerous publications re: Wildlife and Roads). Maine, Department of Transportation

    http://www.maine.gov/mdot/safety/resources/

     

    Toolbox - Effectiveness of Deer Crossing Signs - Research paper, DeerCrossing.org, 2002 http://www.deercrash.org/Toolbox/CMToolboxDeerCrossingSigns.pdf

     

    Tortoise fencing can cause animals to overheat. http://wildlife.org/meant-to-protect-tortoises-roadside-fencing-could-endanger-some/

     

    Tracking wildlife roadkill in Maine offers a path to saving lives http://www.pressherald.com/?p=901409

     

    Twenty Years of Research: Do animals use wildlife crossings? Robert van Meeteren and Gerard Smit (ed.). October, 2015. Bureau Waardenburg bv, Consultants for environment and ecology.

    https://docplayer.net/55456951-Twenty-years-of-research-do-animals-use-wildlife-crossings.html

    Ro​ad Ecology Research, Links and Media, International

     

    California Roadkill Observation System. http://www.wildlifecrossing.net/california/ (Dr. Fraser Shilling)

     

    Cost–Benefit Analyses of Mitigation Measures Aimed at Reducing Collisions with Large Ungulates in the United States and Canada: a Decision Support Tool

    Marcel P. Huijser , John W. Duffield , Anthony P. Clevenger , Robert J. Ament and Pat T. McGowen

    https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss2/art15/main.html

     

    Designing Mitigation Systems, Eastern Ontario. (turtles). With video. Eco-Kare. March 10, 2017.

    https://eco-kare.com/designing-mitigation-systems/designing-mitigation-systems-eastern-ontario/

     

    Earth Touch News Network. June 2014. “Roadkill Problem? There’s an App for that.

    http://www.earthtouchnews.com/conservation/human-impact/roadkill-problem- theres-an-app-for-that

     

    Evaluation of Wildlife Crossing Structures on US 93 in Montana's Bitterroot Valley. Patricia Cramer and Robert Hamlin, report authors. Department of Transportation. http://www.mdt.mt.gov/research/projects/env/us93_wildlife.shtml February, 2017

     

    “Monitoring Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions in the Information Age: How Smartphones can Improve Data Collection.” Plus One - Olson, Daniel D. Olson, Bissonette, John A, Cramer, Patricia C., Green, Ashley D., Davis, Scott T., Jackson, Patrick J., Coaster, Daniel C. PLOS One, June 4, 2014.

     

    Roads are driving rapid evolutionary change in our environment, February 16, 2017

    http://phys.org/news/2017-02-roads-rapid-evolutionary-environment.html

     

    Safety Resources (numerous publications re: Wildlife and Roads). Maine, Department of Transportation

    http://www.maine.gov/mdot/safety/resources/

     

    Toolbox - Effectiveness of Deer Crossing Signs - Research paper, DeerCrossing.org, 2002 http://www.deercrash.org/Toolbox/CMToolboxDeerCrossingSigns.pdf

     

    Tortoise fencing can cause animals to overheat. http://wildlife.org/meant-to-protect-tortoises-roadside-fencing-could-endanger-some/

     

    Tracking wildlife roadkill in Maine offers a path to saving lives http://www.pressherald.com/?p=901409

     

    Twenty Years of Research: Do animals use wildlife crossings? Robert van Meeteren and Gerard Smit (ed.). October, 2015. Bureau Waardenburg bv, Consultants for environment and ecology.

    https://docplayer.net/55456951-Twenty-years-of-research-do-animals-use-wildlife-crossings.html

  • Contact Us or Donate

    Please get in touch if you would like to Share a Story, Idea or Concern about roads and wildlife, or to request a bumper sticker or magnet - they look like our logo on the main page and turn your vehicle into a moving reminder to others (and you) to Watch for Wildlife while driving.

     

    To Donate to support Watch for Wildlife, click here: Sierra Club Canada Foundation & specify that your donation is for Watch for Wildlife, NS.

  • Funding Partners

    We are grateful to the following funding partners for supporting this initiative.

    Lush Charity Pot

    Lush Charity Pot funding goes to small, grassroots groups that have limited resources and often struggle to find funding. We support groups both in North America and around the world working in the areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare and human rights.

    The Animal Welfare Foundation of Canada

    The Animal Welfare Foundation of Canada aims to achieve measurable positive change in improving the lives of animals in Canada, through funding innovative educational, research and public outreach initiatives

    The Sierra Club Canada Foundation: A Voice for the Earth, and for Wildlife

    Watch for Wildlife is a program of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation (Atlantic Chapter), initiated and developed by Wanda Baxter with Chapter support.

     

    The Sierra Club Canada Foundation is a charitable foundation independent of Sierra Club U.S. and has a mission to be a voice for the earth - in Canada. The Sierra Club works to protect and preserve the natural environment, and to empower people to be stewards of and advocates for nature in their communities and beyond.

     

    Contact the Sierra Club Canada Foundation for how you can become a member, how to donate to support this or other programs, and/or to learn how you can become a steward in your own community. info@sierraclub.ca

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