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Protect animals against traffic danger

Protect animals against traffic danger

Amphibians, hedgehogs, hares, foxes, hinds, wild boars… Each year, thousands of animals are victims of the development of urbanization and transport infrastructure. took an interest in the solutions implemented to limit the risk of accidents.

Expansion of urban areas, passage of highways or major secondary roads… this transformation of the landscapes fragmented habitats and, in fact, kept animals away from each other. Forced to cross roads to feed or reproduce, they are exposed to the danger of traffic which threatens their survival. To avoid these dramatic consequences, a few solutions have been implemented upstream by communities, associations or individuals.

1. Wildlife passages to allow the crossing of animals

Communities can set up wildlife crossings to reduce the risk of collisions. These corridors – which are easily seen at regular intervals on highways in particular – differ according to the species to be protected. The vegetated footbridges allow small and large mammals, such as birds, to cross the roadways. For example, in Haute-Vienne (87), at the SOS wildlife refuge, “ more than half of the birds recovered were injured as a result of road collisions , deplores Aurélie Gontier, President of the Association. Among them, only 45% could be released into the wild ”. To cope with this scourge, " the Departmental Council of Haute-Vienne has set up crossings for wildlife, " explains to Mégane Lépine, in charge of press relations for the department.

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A wildlife crossing on the A39. / © APRR

In addition, the small pipes under the roads (toads and batrachoducts) preserve the safety of amphibians. Lombriducs, on the other hand, allow invertebrates or small mammals to cross walking paths. And because road collisions are one of the main causes of death for otters and European mink, “ pontoons have been set up to allow these species to access, dry and as close as possible to the sea. 'water, to their habitats ,' explains Pascal Fournier, director of the Research and Study Group for Environmental Management (GREGE).

2. Traffic signs to indicate risk areas

On a smaller scale, town halls, associations and individuals can install signs or distribute leaflets to indicate areas at risk. “ Each year, thousands of amphibians are victims of road traffic during their migration,” informs ASPAS. We provide signs, posters and leaflets to warn motorists and other road users of risk areas to limit this massacre. »If you come across one of these small vertebrates on the road, the Association advises you to bring a fluorescent vest, a torch (if it is at night) and a bucket, then to wet your hands to pick it up and make it cross.

3. A mobile application to transmit observations

Organizations have also implemented original solutions to limit the number of accidents. A smartphone app developed in consultation with Picardie Nature and the Breton Mammalogical Group, identifies the presence of animals (place and species encountered, etc.) and local contexts (landscape, activities, break in corridors, etc.). The data collected establishes an inventory which should allow, according to the GMN, " to provide technical management solutions to preserve individuals and, through them, species ". Observations can also be entered online on the Internet or sent by post.

If, despite these precautions, a collision with an animal occurs, immediately contact a veterinarian or the Police who will direct you to the nearest wildlife rescue center to take the injured animal there. Indeed, " in the event of a collision, the animals cannot recover on their own, they need care ", warns Aurélie Gontier, President of the SOS wildlife refuge.

* According to the French Union of Wildlife Protection Centers (UFCS), in 2018, 2,672 of the 17,538 animals collected in the centers were found following road collisions.

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