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Seasonal Behaviors: Why are there more road-killed animals this time of year?

A common question we get in late winter and early spring is about the increase in the number of wild animals struck by vehicles.

A gray squirrels stands next to the yellow painted line at the side of a road.

Why are there so many?

Basically it boils down to reproduction and dispersal to find habitat. For adults, finding a mate usually requires travelling, which means more opportunity to have a run-in with vehicles. In the case of juveniles, they often get struck while dispersing from their natal home to less crowded habitat, since they don’t have much experience with safely crossing roadways.

Here’s a snapshot of when you’re more likely to see these species on the move:

Skunks

Woodchucks

Raccoon

Tree Squirrels

Opossums

Mink

Bobcat