DRAMATIC SOLUTION FOR DEER/CAR COLLISIONS IN WESTCHESTER
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KILEY BLACKMAN (914) 237-7306
NADA KHADER (914) 682-4690
TAFFY WILLIAMS (914) 793-9186
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY August 12, 2004 Members of
Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW) will join with WESPAC Foundation
and the NY Whale and Dolphin Action League to initiate the
creation of 'wildlife corridors' (eco-passages) in Westchester
To combat urban sprawl and protect wildlife, many
communities have set aside land for wildlife corridors linking natural areas
to one another. We are reaching out to County Executive Andrew
Spano and the DEC, to discuss implementation.
Several recent articles in the NY Times and THE JOURNAL
NEWS have cited the 'problem' of deer and other wildlife trying
to co-exist with humans in Westchester County, notably in the Town
of Greenburgh, which has formed a committee in response.
According to a University of Florida report on
September 16, 2002, "...after massive experiments, results favor
wildlife corridors," which are passages created over or under
highways, parkways, etc, that allow safe traverse to everything
from turtles and reptiles, to deer and larger mammals. "This is by
far the largest experimental look at the effects of corridors
that has ever been done," said Josh Tewksbury, a UF postdoctoral
associate and the study's author. The state of Florida has 36 such
corridors, with several others across the country.
According to a National Geographic article of May 12,
2004, grizzly bears, wolves and deer tended to cross on the
overpasses, preferring these wide open-air structures. "In Banff, only a black
bear and a cougar used the passages, just one time each, in the
beginning; now animals from deer to racoons are zipping above and
below the road with greater ease - a total of more than 50,000
crossings in seven years.
Nada Khader, Director of WESPAC Foundation, who
informed us these corridors are successfully used with larger animals,
said "Cities and towns are not built to accommodate the indigenous
animal residents, and they should be." Taffy Williams,
Director of NY Whale and Dolphin Action League, agrees: "These corridors
could cause a profound reduction in deer/car collisions, reduce auto
insurance costs, contribute to more peaceful co-existence between
human and non-human animals, and save endangered species as well.
It's a very worthwhile endeavor."