Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effective culvert placement and design to facilitate passage of amphibians across roads

Published source details

Patrick D.A., Schalk C.M., Gibbs J.P. & Woltz H.W. (2010) Effective culvert placement and design to facilitate passage of amphibians across roads. Journal of Herpetology, 44, 618-626


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Install culverts or tunnels as road crossings Amphibian Conservation

A replicated study in 2008 of different culvert designs in New York State, USA (Patrick et al. 2010) found that migrating spotted salamanders Ambystoma maculatum showed no preference for culverts of particular diameters, length or substrate. However, the concrete-lined culvert was used significantly less than other substrates (concrete: 28%; bare: 35%; sand/gravel: 37%). There was no significant difference in use of culverts of different diameters (0.3 m: 28%; 0.6 m: 33%; 0.9 m: 39%) or lengths (3 m: 30%; 6 m: 32%; 9 m: 39%). Spotted salamanders and American toads Anaxyrus americanus did not show a strong preference for crossing near existing culverts under the highway. The four test areas were 30–100 m apart, alongside a highway in a forested wetland. Each consisted of two 9 m long fences (1 m high) that funnelled animals towards three choices of PVC culverts. A pitfall trap captured migrating animals at the end of each culvert. A total of 57–139 salamanders were captured per test area. Sampling was undertaken during five nights in March–April 2008.