Dr. Scott Petrie, Long Point Waterfowl Executive Director
The impact of vehicles on certain reptile species is well documented and population consequences of associated mortality from collisions with vehicles can be significant. Whether such collisions by motor vehicle drivers are intentional has been speculated on but not studied. The authors documented the response of motor vehicle drivers to a fake turtle, fake snake, an item frequently found on the road (i.e., disposable cup), and an inconspicuous control. Response was documented as a hit, miss, or rescue. Using log-linear analysis the study found evidence that reptile decoys were hit at a higher rate than by chance with approximately 2.7% of motorists intentionally hitting them. These results may be used to improve vehicle–reptile collision probability models and demonstrate the need for highly effective mitigation measures to prevent reptile access to roadways with moderate to heavy traffic volumes.
To read Amanda’s paper on incidence of intentional vehicle-reptile collisions click here