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Ungulate use of non-wildlife underpasses

Bhardwaj, Manisha and Olsson, Mattias and Seiler, Andreas (2020). Ungulate use of non-wildlife underpasses. Journal of Environmental Management. 273 , 111095
[Research article]

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Wildlife crossing structures can provide safe passage for wildlife across transportation corridors, and can help mitigate the effects of highways and exclusion fencing on wildlife. Due to their costs, wildlife crossing structures are usually installed sparsely and at strategic locations along transportation networks. Alternatively, non-wildlife underpasses (i.e. conventional underpasses for human and domestic animal use) are usually abundant along major infrastructure corridors and could potentially provide safe crossing opportunities for wildlife. To investigate this, we monitored the use of 40 non-wildlife underpasses by roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), and moose (Alces alces) in south-central Sweden. We found that roe deer and moose use non-wildlife underpasses, and prefer underpasses that are at least 11.5 m wide and 5 m tall. Furthermore, roe deer used structures that had little human co-use and were in locations where the forest cover differed on both sides of the highway. In most cases, roe deer and moose were detected within 50 m of the underpass more than they were detected crossing under them. This suggests that animals often approach underpasses without crossing under them, however modifications to underpass design may improve non-wildlife underpass use. We recommend non-wildlife underpasses at gravel and minor roads, particularly those with little human co-use and with variable forest cover on both sides of the highway, be built wider than 11.5 m and taller than 5 m.

Authors/Creators:Bhardwaj, Manisha and Olsson, Mattias and Seiler, Andreas
Title:Ungulate use of non-wildlife underpasses
Series Name/Journal:Journal of Environmental Management
Year of publishing :2020
Article number:111095
Number of Pages:6
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 405 Other Agricultural Sciences > Fish and Wildlife Management
Keywords:Wildlife crossing structures, Landscape connectivity, Road ecology, Human-wildlife interaction, Barrier effect, Conventional underpasses
Permanent URL:
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000571444100002
ID Code:17825
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:14 Oct 2020 17:00
Metadata Last Modified:15 Jan 2021 19:18

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