The increasing impact of non-native muntjac on Britain?s roads has been highlighted in the latest edition of The State of Britain?s Mammals, an annual report from scientists at the University of Oxford.
Muntjac are expanding their range more rapidly than any other UK deer, and the report states that they now account for almost a quarter of road traffic accidents involving deer in England, with an economic impact estimated at more than £10million per year.
However, researchers at the Deer Initiative?s UK National Deer- Vehicle Collisions Project believe that drivers are in most danger from red deer, fallow deer and sika at this time of year.
Project leader, Dr Jochen Langbein, said: ?The three large species of deer in Britain all have their mating season now, and during that time they are a lot more active.
?The autumn peak is between about now and the end of November, especially at this time because we have the change in daylight saving time, when the rush hour suddenly clashes with dawn and dusk when the deer are most active.?
Natural England has estimated that there could be as many as 42,000 traffic collisions involving deer each year.
Many experts believe the figure may be higher because of the amount of unreported incidents.
Dr Langbein?s latest research, which monitored deer vehicle collisions in Scotland, found that the average annual frequency of incidents recorded on many of the country?s major trunk roads had more than doubled over the past three years.