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Deer threat to road safety

Published: 08 March 2013

Updated: 20 November 2014

There are more deer in the UK than at any time since the Ice Age, according to a study highlighting the threat to road safety.

Deer populations need to be culled by as much as 60% just to keep numbers stable, according to research by the University of East Anglia.

A spokeswoman for the university said: “In the absence of natural predators, populations are continuing to expand - causing a serious threat to biodiversity, as well as road traffic accidents and crop damage.”

Researchers counted roe and muntjac deer across 90 square miles of forest and heathland in Breckland, East Anglia, using thermal imaging and night vision equipment.

Dr Kristin Wäber, who conducted the study, said: “Native deer are an important part of our wildlife that add beauty and excitement to the countryside, but left unchecked they threaten our woodland biodiversity.

“They also carry diseases such as Lymes, and if numbers are not properly managed, they can cause damage to crops as well as road traffic accidents.”

A map based on data to 2010 suggests East Sussex is one of the worst areas in the country, with over 90 deer related collisions per 10 square kilometres in three years.

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