Watch for wildlife on highways

deer-1.jpgEstimates say that every year 1.5 million animals are hit on our nation’s highways. With fall almost officially here, deer and elk are starting to migrate to lower elevations in the Eastern Sierra and across our highways and byways. Caltrans and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife have chosen this week as “Watch Out for Wildlife Week”.

According to a press release, the California Highway Patrol reported more than 1800 wildlife-vehicle collisions in 2010 resulting in about $1 billion in property damage. In the same release, the organization known as Defenders of Wildlife reported that more than 200 people are killed in collisions with deer, elk and other wildlife with an estimated 1.5 million animals hit annually in the nation.

Fish and Wildlife’s Deer Program Co-ordinator, Craig Stowers, said, “It’s a shame so many animals are injured and killed on our roads every year.” he said it’s not a pleasant experience for the drivers who hit them either. Said Stowers, “Many deaths, injuries and costly vehicle repairs could be avoided if drivers would just pay more attention, be aware of when animals are most active, and be ready to react safely if an animal moves onto the road.

Some tips for motorists from Caltrans and Fish and Wildlife:

*Be alert in wildlife areas
*If you see an animal cross the road, know that another may be following.
*Don’t litter. That could entice animals into the road.

 

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2 Responses to Watch for wildlife on highways

  1. Dennis Belli September 16, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    While driving on Interstate 5 north of Mt Shasta, Caltrans has a 6 foot fence all along both sides of the Interstate with openings for wildlife every 1/10 mile. How about Caltrans increasing the height of the right of way fence to keep the animals from jumping the fence and causing “property damage”? Some parts of the country have animal tunnels or bridges to allow animals to cross underneath/over safely…

     
  2. MJA September 17, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    A couple of other ideas: Rather than removing the dead deer from the side of the road I think it would be good to just leave them. The sight of so many deer dead, especially on 395 between McGee Creek and 203 might slow the traffic down through this area.
    And rather than a sign that reads deer crossing, perhaps signs that look like deer might help as well.
    And lastly, those over passes Dennis write about are working on many roads around the world, time to build some here.
    Check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mx4eJH-lI_w

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