Daylight saving time can decrease the frequency of wildlife--vehicle collisions
Friday, November 25, 2016
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.