Our roads are very busy these days, with millions of people driving around. Even the quiet roads are not safe for wildlife, so it helps to follow tips to be a more wildlife-friendly driver and keep a box (with holes and an old no-tassle towel) in the glove box, along with a pair of gloves. For more info wildlife rescue (who to call and what to do) read how to help your local wildlife rescue.
RSPCA often take ages to arrive due to being busy, so try the above. For trapped or injured deer, call the police as a traffic hazard and often marksmen will arrive to humanely shoot the deer, if it’s in pain and there’s a long wait for help.
tips for wildlife-friendly drivers
Of course, no car is completely safe near wildlife. But for people who drive, follow the rules of the road, and keep your car in good condition, so there is less chance of accidents.
- Although it’s best to drive with full-beam lights to see where you’re going, dip lights if you see wildlife in front (if you see one deer, there are likely many more nearby). Keep especially vigilant when driving at dusk or dawn, when most wildlife are active and feeding.
- Never drop litter out of your car window. This is one of the main reasons for roadkill, as birds or small animals come to eat it, then other larger animals feed on the dead animals. Keep a car trash bag in your car. One farmer had a wonderful idea to print the registration number on the receipts of fast food packaging. So if they throw the litter out the window, they get a fine in the post.
- Of course, the best way to help wildlife is simply to drive less. Only take journeys you need. The less cars on the road, the better.
- Gift your town planner a copy of The Handbook of Road Ecology. This covers all the latest ideas and case studies of things like hedgehog and other wildlife crossings, used widely in The Netherlands and the USA. From tunnels to overpasses, these help migrating animals to find their way, but let people safely drive.
- Volunteer to be a Toad Lollipop Lady! Toad patrols are held each year, where volunteers go out at night (with wellies and torches) to help migrating toads (who never change their route) across busy roads, when they try to find a mate.