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Sweden tries to put the brakes on record roadkill numbers

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Sweden tries to put the brakes on record roadkill numbers
96 eagles were killed in traffic last year. Photo: Ole-Tommy Pedersen/NTB/Scanpix
16:29 CET+01:00
Last year, a record-high 149 predatory animals were killed on Swedish roads and railways. The predators fell prey to a viscous cycle in which the animals were hit by vehicles while feeding on the carcasses of previous roadkill.
Sweden's eagles are the biggest victims. A total of 96 eagles were killed in traffic in 2017, as were 33 lynx, 12 bears, six wolves and two wolverines, P4 Norrbotten reported. 
 
Stephen McLearnon of the Swedish Transport Authority said the increase in predator dying in traffic is tied directly to a growing number of their prey suffering the same fate.
 
The predators are drawn to the roadkill cadavers of moose, reindeer and deer and then end up getting hit by vehicles themselves. 
 
“There are very many [predators dying], especially eagles. They are getting hit while they eat animals that were killed by traffic,” he told P4. 
 
To bring down the record numbers, the Swedish Transport Authority plans to be much more responsive in clearing carcasses from the roads. The agency said it would now aim to find and clear roadkill within two hours of receiving a police report. 
 
McLearnon said fences meant to keep wildlife from the roads would also be repaired and in some cases expanded. 
 
 
 
 
 
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