We're now in our 3rd year delivering education and raising awareness about wildlife-vehicle collisions and prevention in Nova Scotia, and over the last few months a lot has happened - including expanding into New Brunswick.
But before I get into the update, a reminder about what Watch for Wildlife is about. This issue is difficult and complicated, from every angle - and it's hard to work on. It's understandable why most of us don't want to think too much about it. A staggering amount of collisions with wildlife occur every hour of every year (with trains, planes, automobiles, ships, ATVs ... ), and the impacts - on people and wildlife, our economy, our cultural well being, injury and mortality of people and wildlife, the weight placed on wildlife rescues, the insurmountable loss of biodiversity and even species - it can seem overwhelming.
But the problem won't go away by looking the other way, or hoping that it isn't as bad as it seems (that response hasn't worked so far), so we will continue to shine a light on the issue, and give people the tools to best prevent collisions and continue to remind that the road is not ours alone. Watch for Wildlife is bringing wildlife-vehicle collisions into clear view so we can get solutions rolling like building roads that consider road ecology, and create ways across and under the road so the wild creatures can get where they need to go - for the safety and survival of all of us.
So what's been happening with Watch for Wildlife, as the title promised? What follows is an update of our activities so far this year, and what we have planned for the rest of the 2018.
Part of our partnership with Lush means they will host two Awareness Events with Watch for Wildlife over the next month in their stores in Dartmouth and Halifax. One happened on July 21st, and was an excellent opportunity to talk to people and staff about the program, and how they can help. We gave out over 50 brochures and bumper magnets to people coming through, and a second event is planned for the Halifax store on August 11th.
Rebekah, Manager at the Lush Store in Mic Mac Mall with Wanda Baxter, Program Manager at the Watch for Wildlife Awareness Event on July 21st.
Due to the support from both the AWFC and Lush, we have been able to hire an Outreach Coordinator for New Brunswick, and the New Brunswick program launched the week of July 14th in Fredericton! We have also been able to have the French brochure and sections of the Watch for Wildlife website translated so the program will now be accessible in both our official languages.
Activities and Outreach of Watch for Wildlife - (so far) include:
Website and social media:
We would love to have more followers on Twitter and Facebook, and more contributors to the INaturalist Collision Tracking Project. Please get in touch if you have questions. suggestions, or if you are interested in getting involved with Watch for Wildlife as a volunteer or a Community Champion, and please follow us on social media.
Daily Gleanerinterview with Wanda Baxter re: spike in wildlife vehicle collisions (behind paywall – see attachment):
CBC Shift: Watch for Wildlife is expanding to New Brunswick
Global TV: Watch for Wildlife launches in NB
CTV Atlantic News
What to do if you see wildlife on the road (wildlife-vehicle collision prevention advice)
We have a lot more to do this year with Watch for Wildlife. Get in touch for your bumper magnet and program brochure - in English or French. If you want us to present at your event or in a class, or if you have concerns about wildlife collisions in your area, again, get in touch. And drive aware.
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