FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 4, 2021
Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Programs Director | Sierra Club Canada Foundation
Taylor Godin, Watch for Wildlife Coop Student | Sierra Club Canada Foundation
Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Nova Scotia - As COVID safety measures are lifted and drivers begin to repopulate roads, Watch for Wildlife is launching a new awareness tool to help keep wildlife and drivers safe. Nova Scotian drivers collide with large animals like deer and moose about 500-600 times per year. This number is likely an underestimate since many wildlife collisions are unreported.
Wanda Baxter, M.Env. Des., Watch for Wildlife Program Developer, says:
"Part of the reason I developed the Watch for Wildlife program was because there was no information about what drivers can do to prevent collisions with wildlife, or what to do if you do hit something. This new video is one of the ways we can help increase knowledge about preventing collisions with wildlife, and it can't come at a better time: collisions are at a peak this time of year. Please keep an eye out for wildlife as you drive, and watch this video for tips to prevent collisions. It's a great new resource for drivers."
Dr. Karen Beazley, PhD, Resource and Environmental Studies, Dalhousie University says:
“While it is always heartbreaking to hit wildlife on the road, it is especially tragic when it is an endangered species, and there are plenty of those in Nova Scotia. Mainland moose, Wood turtle, Blandings turtle, snapping turtle, American martin, Canada lynx, just to name a few.
What can you do, as a driver? It makes a big difference to simply watch for wildlife: always be mindful of them while driving. Deer may run out at any time, or a turtle might be hunkered down on the road. Stay within the speed limit and, when possible, avoid driving at dusk, dawn and night.”
Hope Swinimer, Founder of Hope for Wildlife says:
“Every year, Hope for Wildlife receives thousands of injured and orphaned wild animals, and the second most common reason is wildlife-vehicle collisions. And every year, their number continues to grow. The Watch for Wildlife program is a critical part of raising the awareness of the necessity to increase safety on our roads for the welfare of both wildlife and people. Watch for Wildlife truly makes a difference by bringing the public education and policy suggestions needed for lasting change.”
Watch for Wildlife is offering the film and other educational materials about avoiding wildlife collisions and what to do if you are in a collision to driving schools and others. The short film was produced for Watch for Wildlife by Rove Productions with support from the Animal Welfare Foundation of Canada.
To watch the video, please go here: https://youtu.be/DodrAtsrU4Q