• Watch for Wildlife is about Reducing Injury and Mortality of People and Wildlife on our Roads

     

     

    Watch for Wildlife nova Scotia

  • Watch for Wildlife: Preventing Collisions with wildlife on Nova Scotia roads

    Watch for Wildlife (W4W) NS is a wildlife vehicle collision prevention program that encourages and enables Nova Scotians and visitors to the province to drive with an awareness of wildlife on roads, and do what they can to prevent collisions with wildlife. Watch for Wildlife is a voice for wildlife vehicle conflict prevention in Nova Scotia, and we will work to raise awareness of the impacts of vehicle collisions on wildlife, people, the economy and insurance costs.

     

    The objective of the program is straightforward: to reduce injury and mortality of wildlife and people on our roads.

     

    Thousands of animals and other creatures are killed annually on our roads, but it is difficult to know exactly how many are hit in part because collisions with wildlife are widely unreported. W4W will also work to encourage more collision reporting and improved data collection. More data can help managers determine if improved collision prevention measures (wildlife fencing, signs, underpasses, overpasses, etc.) are warranted.

     

    Watch for Wildlife is supported by the NS Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Road Safety Division and Lush Charity Pot with input from the Department of Natural Resources (Wildlife Division), the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and Hope for Wildlife. Watch for Wildlife is a program of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation and was developed by environmental designer Wanda Baxter.

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    tips to Help prevent Wildlife Vehicle collisions

    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.

     

    General Tips for Preventing Collisions with Wildlife:

    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. Don't throw things on the road, you will be keeping wildlife from being hit. Littering also comes with a hefty fine.

    For More Information:

     

    The Traffic Injury Research Foundation has developed an excellent online resource for Preventing Vehicle Collisions with wildlife.

    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.

    Contact Information -

    Who to Call if you are in a Collision with Wildlife

    It is important to report collisions so injured wildlife are responded to and carcasses are removed from the road and shoulder of the road. Leaving carcasses brings predator birds and animals to feed on them and can cause additional collisions.

     

    IF YOU ARE IN A COLLISION WITH WILDLIFE

    Please report to one or more of the following, depending on the situation (pull over and stop before making a call):

     

    DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES – to report collisions with wildlife and animals that are still alive, please report the collision

    1 800 565 2224

     

    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION – for wildlife carcass removal from roads

    1 844 MYNSRDS (1 844 696 7737)

     

    911 – Call for RCMP dispatch to get help for large, injured animals after hours or on weekends, and if there is human injury and/or vehicle damage. Wildlife Rescues can also be contacted at any time

     

    WILDLIFE RESCUES – if wildlife (bird, turtle, small animal, other) is injured, call:

    • Hope for Wildlife, Seaforth, NS (East of Halifax) ​                    902 407 WILD (9453)
    • Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Shubenacadie NS  (902) 893 0253

    Report Collisions with Wildlife

    Image Credit: Peggy Scanian

        

    Watch for Wildlife encourages reporting wildlife collisions 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.

     

    The Sierra Club Canada Foundation -

    a Voice for the Earth, and 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 the sister organization of the Sierra Club United States with a mission to be a voice for the earth. The Sierra Club works to protect and preserve the natural environment, and to empower people to be stewards of and advocates for nature.

     

    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

  • Watch 4 Wildlife news

    Wildlife Species on the Move Alerts & Blog Posts

  • 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.

     

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

     

    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.

    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

     

    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.

     

    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

     

    Road 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

     

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

     

     

  • Contact us or donate

    Please get in touch if you would like to Share a Story, Idea or Concern about roads and wildlife.

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

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