A recent study by School of Planning professor Michael Drescher suggests Ontario could save thousands of wildlife losses as well as millions of dollars by implementing simple measures to help prevent vehicle collisions involving wildlife.
Since 2013, 20 people have been killed and 2,613 people injured in collisions with wildlife on Ontario roads. So far this year, there have been 145 injuries and one death. The numbers are generally going up – from 294 injuries in 2013 to 439 last year.
There are more than 14,000 collisions between cars and wildlife reported just in Ontario every year. That’s the most in Canada. And that’s only the crashes that get reported.
Strategies include better signage, wildlife detection systems, fencing and wildlife crossings. These measures are designed to protect both cars and animals, including threatened species such as salamanders and turtles.
“They’re proven to work and have been used successfully in [British Columbia],” said Michael Drescher, associate professor at the University of Waterloo’s School of Planning. “People seem to be of the idea that they cost a lot of money, but what we have found that the cost is quite minimal if they’re incorporated into the renovating a highway, which needs to be done every few years.”