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Thread: The Deer Initiative

  1. #1

    The Deer Initiative

    Just looking at a web page Titled, "Deer Collisions Project", wich is "a project administered by the Deer Initiative". It states that it is estimated that between 42000 and 74000 deer are involved in traffic collisions anually, in the UK !!!!!!!!!!!! Is it me or do those numbers seem credible?? Firstly where are the figures from, being a difference of 32000 THIRTY TWO THOUSAND!!!!! between high and low! Bad estimation, or even poorer guess work! 32000 anual deer collisions would mean 615.38 deer collisions a week, and 74000 means 1423 a week!! Now wouldn't this sort of carnage mean that the verge's of most roads, in places where deer are common, were littered with wounded or rotting deer? Surely the uk deer population could not stand this sort of decimation! Notwithstanding, public outcry from regular deer RTA's. I.m not saying RTA's dont involve deer, but i see rabbit, fox,badger, squirrel,polecat(ferret) and even otter roadkill but Ive yet to come accross deer! I know N Wales isn't a deer hot spot , must mean you chaps elsewhere must be living on your wits!

  2. #2
    I dont know how many miles of road there is in GB but the nos I would think are small per mile.I do however know that in a 15mile stretch of B road near me you can find some weeks we have two or three and many I do not hear about most are not reported to the police so yes 74k is quite possible IMHO

  3. #3
    The road between Leadmore jct and Lochinver tallied some 35 collisions a few years back, let alone the amount of Fallow that are hit in and around East Sussex every year.

    Two Fallow doe's within 150yds last weekend near my place in West Sussex, so I would say that the figure suggested is possible.

  4. #4
    22 on a 2 mile stretch by me this year.

  5. #5
    Drove past a sign in Ashdown Forest on Saturday, it said 238 deer collisions since January.
    Owning a gun or knife and not using it, is akin to not sleeping with your girlfriend to keep her neat and tidy for the next bloke.

  6. #6
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevhumps View Post
    I.m not saying RTA's dont involve deer, but i see rabbit, fox,badger, squirrel,polecat(ferret) and even otter roadkill but Ive yet to come accross deer!

    If you've yet to come across an RTA involving a deer you are very, very, lucky indeed.

    Over the past few years I've personally contributed a fair number of RTA recordings to Dr Jochen Langbein who runs this project, and I certainly would not doubt the credibility of the numbers.

    Reading the detail explains some of the questions you raise. If you look at the reports that have been published you would see that the reported incidents are only a small proportion of the total RTA's, given that typically only those carcases seen by the roadside are actually reported - so what about all the deer that die further away or that "recover", albeit missing limbs, etc? This is, in large part, the explanation for the large deviation you identified in the min/avg/max number of "possible" RTA's, in that it is statistically improbable/impossible that all deer in RTA's end up dead by the roadside. You therefore have to factor in those deer that are involved in RTA's but die out of sight or recover. The research was also reliant upon people volunteering details of RTA's encountered....but what about all those areas where no individuals sent in reports of RTA's? Is it more likely that (a) no deer RTA's occurred in those areas, or (b) they did occur but just went unreported? Unless you live in an area entirely devoid of deer I think you'll agree that statistically the most likely answer is (b).

    If you study the reports that are available from the research it makes for some very interesting reading. See and Table 10, for instance, shows the statistics for the 40 main roads with the highest number of reported incidents over the study period. Take a look at the A22; on average there were 68 deer collisions reported (i.e. just those reported) every year. 68 per year...on just one road....that in total is just 83km long. On the same road the highest rate/km over any 5km stretch was in the Ashdown Forest, with more than 10. That's a dead deer reported every 100 metres. As my US friends would say, "do the math" and 74,000 doesn't seem that high any more.

    In contrast to North Wales, I can take you to one of the roads studied near me that is not in the "top 40" and would bet good money that I could find you at least one new deer carcase every week, and that's just the ones visible from the road. Here, for example, is one of them:

    Last edited by willie_gunn; 15-11-2011 at 23:05.
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  7. #7
    If you are careless it COULD happen !
    You might even get a Magpie as well.

  8. #8
    There is a case for improving driver awareness. Most accidents that happen with wild life are caused by bad driving practices.

  9. #9
    I would think it may even be an underestimate if this area is anything to go by! I believe much of the information collected came from insurance companies. These will only be the ones where people have justified a claim above their excess. It will not account for those that go un-reported or possibly commercial vehicles such as trucks which probably don't even notice if they hit one! The roads a littered with them around here. What about train tracks? Loads get hit by trains which probably don't figure in anyones statistics? I get called out to a lot of RTA's, but they are only the ones where the deer is still alive which is probably a relatively small percentage. Many are also quickly removed by passers-by which probably also 'masks' the true picture. There are also about 20 human fatalities each year involving deer. I don't doubt the statistics at all, but like most deer numbers quoted, it can only ever be a rough estimate.

  10. #10
    I recorded 26 deer rta's on a ten mile strech of the A343 in one year, fallow,roe and muntjac, and that's just the ones i see on the road or verge, i am sure many more make to the fields and are out of site, and i think half of what i have recorded have been picked up by the next day.

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