About 5 million animals are killed on Flemish roads every year, according to a new study.
“This means 14,000 per day, or at least one in every six seconds,” calculated Natuurpunt, a nature protection organization. The figures come from an extrapolation of countings by volunteers, and were announced on the tenth anniversary of Natuurpunt’s monitor project ‘Dieren onder de wielen’ (Animals caught by cars), which allows everyone to report animal traffic accidents.
Among the animals killed in traffic are some rare species, like beavers, garden dormice, bitterns or corncrakes. Most frequent victims the past decade were common toads (18,067), hedgehogs (5,728), foxes (3,467), brown frogs (1,808), badgers (1,795) and stone martens (1,698).
Spring seems to be the most lethal period of the year for most road crossing animals.
Since research has shown the number of announcements is just the tip of the iceberg, Natuurpunt is organising countings on entire stretches of road to make calculations for the complete traffic network.
The countings also show that most traffic accidents with animals unsurprisingly happen on spots where roads cross through woods or nature zones, or in places with a combination of highways and railways.