A campaign has been launched to make motorists aware of the dangers of deer on the roads following a 10% increase in the number of collisions involving the animals.
Trunk roads in and around Perth and Dundee will have a series of warning messages displayed along them for the next month.
May is when the highest number of deer-vehicle collisions occur, as young animals begin looking for their own territory.
A report commissioned jointly by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Transport Scotland revealed that from January 2013 to December 2015, there were more than 4,600 recorded collisions between vehicles and deer on Scottish roads.
However as many incidents go unreported, the true figure could be as high as 9,000 per year, resulting in 50 to 100 human injuries.
Between 2012 and 2015 Dundee City Council saw 33 reported incidents, there were 175 in the wider Angus area, and Perth and Kinross saw 550. However the report’s authors believe the true figure could be four-times higher.
Jamie Hammond, SNH deer management officer, said: “This report confirms what we suspected: that accidents involving deer are becoming more common as deer spread into new areas.
“If you do hit a deer, report it to the police even if you’re uninjured and your car isn’t damaged, as the deer may be fatally injured or suffering.”
Dr Jochen Langbein of the Deer Vehicle Collisions Project, which submitted the report, added: “In Scotland, as in the rest of the UK and many other European countries, wild deer numbers have increased significantly over recent decades.
“Roe deer in particular have become well established in the urban fringe of many major towns and have also spread into parks and other green spaces close to the centre of cities such Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. So although many people think most accidents with deer and vehicles occur on more remote Highland roads, in Scotland at least 40% occur on A-class trunk roads or motorways.”
Angus Corby, Transport Scotland’s landscape advisor, said: “As the government agency responsible for the trunk road network, Transport Scotland requires our operating companies to prepare annual deer management plans to take account of the likely impact of deer on the network and to develop possible mitigation strategies in association with adjacent local landowners.”
The warning sign campaign will run until June 5.