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Lamentable deer-whistle findings

Investigator G.J. Reynolds alerts us to an alert about deficiencies of deer-collision avoidance devices:

peter-scheifeleAnalysis and effectiveness of deer whistles for motor vehicles: frequencies, levels, and animal threshold responses,” Peter M. Scheifele [pictured here], David G. Browning and Lesa M. Collins-Scheifel, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America [ARLO], vol. 4, no. 13, July 2003. ) The authors report:

“Whitetail deer (Odocileus virginianus) are common across much of the United States. In areas where deer populations are prevalent, there is a propensity for interactions with automobiles. Various methods have been suggested for reducing the number of automobile-deer collisions, including acoustic devices such as deer whistles. Six different whistles were tested in the laboratory and on motor vehicles…

“One of the predominant frequencies of the whistles, 12 kHz is clearly outside the best frequency of hearing of the deer…. In all tests of the whistles mounted on automobiles, the sound pressure levels of the devices were inaudible to the testers…. the effectiveness of the deer whistle device may [also] also be compromised in a behavioral sense.”

Improbable Research