Monday 12 December 2011

Like I needed another reason to hate Mondays

On our commute to work, Second Born and I see the occasional wildlife victim of roadkill. The commonest squished remains are Pheasants from land managed for shooting or the overspill of birds from these areas. Whilst traffic at a maximum of 60mph is likely slower and more visible than shotgun pellets, the Pheasants don't seem to learn from their many close shaves. Perhaps it's all a game to them?

Suicidal Rabbits, too, seem magnetically-drawn to pick a fight with tyres, but Muntjac deer and Badger are much rarer, presumably reflecting their lesser numbers in the countryside, rather than any greater understanding of the Highway Code.

Today, however, we noted not one, but two, dead Foxes, laid forlornly in the carriageway, several miles apart. I assumed that this was either as a result of dispersal of cubs from an adult's territory, or just an unfortunate coincidence whilst out foraging for food.

Information from The Fox Website suggests that in rural areas, where lethal control is applied, 80% of the population is under one year old. And, yes, where there are managed pheasant shoots, you would expect an amount of lethal control. I can't condone it, but I acknowledge that it happens for economic reasons. Oh, and some folk just like to kill stuff for fun, which is harder to reconcile on any level.


Spadger said...

Not so sure of your presumption of lesser numbers - deer - particularly Muntjac are I believe recently hearing the second biggest cause of RTA's. There's certainly a worrying increase in insurance claims - its obviously getting a bit deer :0)

'for economic reasons'? More like reasons of incompetence! Poor land management, coupled with pheasants being so dozy having been so molicuddled  they wouldn't know a fox from a piece fluff on their bum!! Anyway if you were shown to a free eat as much as you like banquet - what would you do?

Imperfect and Tense said...

JD, my figures were simply a straw poll of dead things seen on the way to work, I didn't intend to extrapolate them nationwide.

I'm sure there's many creatures that enjoy a spiffing pheasant dinner, all in the name of survival rather than sport.

holdingmoments said...

It's always sad to see the number of wildlife fatalities on our roads. They have a tough enough time as it is, without cars mowing them down, or guns shooting them.

Imperfect and Tense said...

True, Keith, true. But I guess it's a bonus for the animals that are partial to carrion. Red Kites and Buzzards seem to do well out of it, and not forgetting Magpies. Every cloud has a silver lining, eh?