Watch for Wildlife NS, a wildlife vehicle collision prevention program of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation, is asking drivers to take extra care to avoid collisions with wildlife over the Thanksgiving long weekend.
“Spring and summer may seem like the high season for wildlife on roads, but some species are rutting and on the move in October and November and the result is a higher than average rate of collisions – especially with deer and moose,” according to Wanda Baxter, Watch for Wildlife Program Manager. “We are asking drivers to keep an eye out for wildlife while driving over the Thanksgiving weekend and through November.”
Both people and wildlife suffer significant impacts from wildlife vehicle collisions, so Watch for Wildlife has developed a brochure with tips to educate drivers about wildlife on the roads, how best to avoid hitting them, and what to do if a collision occurs.
Some of the prevention tips include: paying keen attention at the wheel and not speeding -especially if on unfamiliar, rural roads; scanning ahead and on both sides of the road for wildlife and the shine of their eyes while driving; beeping a few short blasts to spur animals off the road and deter them from coming onto; being particularly wary at dawn and dusk when the majority of collisions occur; and slowing down a bit to look for other animals if you see one crossing. Also, it is important never to swerve if an animal darts out, but brake to slow up instead. Even a slight reduction in speed can give wild animals and birds the time to get by you safely.
The Watch for Wildlife website (www.watchforwildlife.ca) provides more information about the program and additional collision prevention tips. We also have bumper magnets and stickers available for anyone who wants to put them on their vehicles to help raise awareness of wildlife on our roads.
Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude and celebration, and the presence and abundance of wildlife is part of what makes Nova Scotia a wonderful place to live. Please drive aware of wildlife on the roads, and with a willingness to share the road as they also try to get where they are going.