Wildlife Knowledgeable – Victoria Information

When the curtain begins to fall and daylight begins in summer, the staff at the Regional Wildlife Center remind Greater Victoria residents to watch out for animals that make their home around the highways.

Last year, around 375 animals were captured and killed by vehicles across Greater Victoria, said Wallice Moore Reid, senior wildlife rehabilitator at BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in Metchosin. The result of that death toll, she said, was an equal number of orphaned animals encountered and brought to the center during the course of 2020.

The increase in animals admitted due to vehicle collisions (14 percent of total admissions in 2020 versus 10 percent in 2018) is due in part to human waste and inattentive driving, Moore Reid said.

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“Reducing your speed can of course help protect you and your vehicle from frequent collisions with bucks or fawns,” she said. These are most common on freeways and large bends where motorists do not think about slowing down, and during twilight or dawn; Peak times for animal movements, which fluctuate as the days for autumn get shorter.

Less known, but equally dangerous, is the habit of throwing trash or food scraps out of a car window, Moore Reid said. The litter attracts rodents onto the street, which in turn are used to restrain birds of prey. As smart as eagles, raptors don’t look both ways before pouncing on a chipmunk, and too often are included in Wild ARC if they don’t, if they’re not killed.

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“We are seeing several species that are threatened or of particular concern due to vehicle collisions,” said Moore Reid. “These include barn swallows, peregrine falcons, great blue herons, olive-sided flycatchers, purple martins, collar pigeons and night owls, to name just a few.”

Wild ARC – a nonprofit center funded primarily through donations – takes in injured or orphaned animals daily from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Moore Reid said.

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