The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is informing motorists of a study that will take place in early December that will involve the capture of deer along I-280.
The CalTrans-funded project will be carried out by UC Davis and will study the movement and activity of deer in the area for an 18-month period.
The purpose of the study is to learn how to reduce deer-vehicle collisions along I-280. Upon completion, researchers will submit a recommended action plan to CalTrans.
The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) will aid UC Davis in capturing deer and fitting them with radio collars to track their movements and better understand how to keep deer from crossing the highway.
Capture dates will be December 2-December 11, 2011. During that time 15 deer will be captured using tranquilizer dart guns and walk-in net traps. The collars will automatically drop off the animals approximately six months later, and another set of 15 deer will be collared.
Due to the nature of the study, the deer captures must be conducted relatively close to the I-280. According to the CHP, motorists may see a DFG vehicle pulled over on the freeway (to check nearby traps) or possibly witness dart gunning in action on a nearby road.
All captures will be conducted from specially marked California Department of Fish and Game vehicles, but at a glance the dart guns may look like rifles and the CHP does not want to alarm motorists.
For more information on the study, contact Clara Laursen or Rose Isarose at 280Connectivity@gmail.com.