“We would increase accuracy by 50 percent if all drivers started marking out where the accident occurred and that would make a huge difference,” said volunteer hunter Jonas Dahl to SR.
Despite Sweden’s hunters being among the foremost in the world in tracking down animals wounded in traffic, the rise in traffic-related wildlife accidents have increased in recent years causing the number of wounded animals to rise as well.
According to the Swedish National Wildlife Accident Council (Nationella Viltolycksrådet) the number of traffic-related wildlife accidents increased by 35 percent between 2007 and 2010 and is now at near 50,000 a year.
About 50 percent of the cases involve an animal that is just injured and disappears from the scene of the accident.
When police receives a report of a wildlife accident they call in volunteer hunters, like Jonas Dahl, in the area.
According to SR, about eight in ten animals are found. Either they are put down directly or they are declared fit. But many more would be discovered if the driver would mark out the place of the accident before leaving.
“About 50 percent of the cases we have to give up on are are due to a failure in tracking the animal ourselves, or that our dogs fail in doing so. But the other 50 percent are due to us having no idea where to start looking,” Dahl told SR.
Daniel Ligné of the Swedish Hunters’ Association (Svenska Jägareförbundet) told SR that the organisation is working hard to distribute information about this.
“We work closely with car dealerships in order to make them leave information about what to do about wildlife accidents in the glove compartment. We also work with driving schools and with customs officers, so that they are able to inform foreign drivers,” Ligné told SR.