Deer could be involved in as many as 74,000 collisions with vehicles across the UK every year, according to research carried out by The Deer Initiative and Government agencies (Telegraph).
With this in mind, drivers are being urged to be more aware of the animals this autumn, as the days become shorter and deer are at their most active.
Recent figures show that the number of deer in Britain has more than doubled in the past decade to reach two million. According to the Telegraph, the rise is a consequence of the introduction of new species, such as muntjac and Chinese water deer. In addition, the combination of warmer winters, an absence of natural predators and a decline in hunting has resulted in an increase in the numbers of native roe and red deer.
The Deer Initiative, a group of charities and Government agencies responsible for controlling the number of deer in Britain, estimates that there were at least 42,000 traffic collisions involving deer last year. But Dr. Jochen Langbein, the project leader, described the figure as a ‘conservative estimate’ and said the actual number could be as high as 74,000 because many incidents go unreported.
Dr. Langbein said: “The Autumn peak is between about now and the end of November, especially at this time because we have the change in daylight savings when the rush hour suddenly clashes with dawn and dusk when the deer are most active.
"The three large species of deer in Britain: red deer, fallow deer and sika deer, all have their mating season now, and during that time they are a lot more active."
Click here the read the full Telegraph report.