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Biol Lett. 2016 Nov;12(11). pii: 20160632.

Daylight saving time can decrease the frequency of wildlife-vehicle collisions.

Author information

1
School of Agriculture and Food Science, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.
2
School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.
3
PO 73 New Brighton, New South Wales 2483, Australia.
4
Koala Research Centre of Central Queensland, School of Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Queensland 4702, Australia.
5
Primate Research Institute and Wildlife Research Center, Kyoto University, 41-2 Kanrin, Inuyama 484-8506, Japan.
6
Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.
7
Environmental Futures Research Institute, Griffith University, Queensland 4111, Australia.
8
Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, Beerwah, Queensland 4519, Australia.
9
Science Division, Office of Environment and Heritage NSW, P.O. Box 1967, Hurstville, New South Wales 2220, Australia.
10
School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia r.wilson@uq.edu.au.

Abstract

Daylight saving time (DST) could reduce collisions with wildlife by changing the timing of commuter traffic relative to the behaviour of nocturnal animals. To test this idea, we tracked wild koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) in southeast Queensland, where koalas have declined by 80% in the last 20 years, and compared their movements with traffic patterns along roads where they are often killed. Using a simple model, we found that DST could decrease collisions with koalas by 8% on weekdays and 11% at weekends, simply by shifting the timing of traffic relative to darkness. Wildlife conservation and road safety should become part of the debate on DST.

KEYWORDS:

conservation; daylight saving; wildlife conservation; wildlife–vehicle collisions

PMID:
27881767
PMCID:
PMC5134043
DOI:
10.1098/rsbl.2016.0632
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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