Trains in Japan are being fitted with a speaker that makes snorting and barking noises in a bid to reduce the number of deer being killed on the railways, writes Tariq Tahir for the Mail Online.

The device has been devised by a team at the country's Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI) and has already reduced the number of deer spotted by railways by 40 per cent.

According to the Tokyo-based institute, the deer have a habit of repeatedly snorting short, shrill sounds to alert other deer when they perceive danger.

Officials explained they thought it would be a good idea to combine that with the sound of dogs, which scare the deer, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported.

Advertisement

When the deer hear a combination of a three second-long recording of a deer's snort and 20 seconds of a yapping dog they panic and flee rapidly.

'If our new contraption works, that will obviate the need for installing anti-trespass facilities at many locations,' one RTRI official told the paper.

'We hope to finish it into a system that works in mountainous areas and elsewhere so railroad companies will want to introduce it.'

It is hoped the new device can be rolled out across Japan this year, ahead of the expected influx of World Cup and Olympic tourists.

Tests have been conducted on a train running between early evening and late at night, when deer most frequently are seen by railway lines.

Last year 613 cases of train services suspended or delayed due to collisions with deer. Photo / Takahiro Bessho, WP
Last year 613 cases of train services suspended or delayed due to collisions with deer. Photo / Takahiro Bessho, WP

Deer were sighted only 7.5 times per 100 km from aboard the trains, about 45 percent less than when no measures were in place.

As well as devices fitted to trains, there are also plans to fit them to static spots were deer congregate by railway lines.

According to Japan's transport ministry, there were a 613 cases of train services suspended or delayed for at least 30 minutes due to collisions with deer and other wild animals in 2016-17, up 185 from the previous year.

In the past flashing red lights and even lion faeces have been unsuccessfully trialed in a bid to keep deer off the tracks.