Off-Road Fun Can Mean Wildlife Fright

By Susan Aiello • Published: September 1st, 2011
Category: Animal Airwaves

Ready for some gear-grinding, bone-jarring fun on your all-terrain vehicle? Before you head off-road, take a moment to consider the wildlife that shares our forests, bogs and beaches.

Noise from off-roading disrupts the habits of large animals such as deer and bears, who avoid areas for half a mile or more around ATV trails.

Beaches are especially susceptible to damage. Even if turtle hatchlings and nesting birds avoid being run over, ruts made by ATVs can disorient them, and the noise and lights can frighten off sea turtles coming ashore to nest.

So be aware and drive responsibly. Take it slow and look out for nests, which can be difficult to see. Avoid beaches, dunes and other sensitive areas. And be sure to obey all rules and warnings published by conservation agencies.

Let’s keep it fun for both people and our wild neighbors.