Action: Use alternative de-icers on roads
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- We found no studies that evaluated the effects on mammals of using alternative de-icers on roads.
‘We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this intervention during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore, we have no evidence to indicate whether or not the intervention has any desirable or harmful effects.
Use of chloride salts as de-icers along roads in winter can attract wildlife and may therefore increase vehicle-wildlife collisions, particularly in areas without natural salt licks. The main de-icers used by highway agencies are chloride-based salts such as sodium chloride, calcium chloride or magnesium chloride, or acetate-based de-icers such as potassium, sodium or calcium magnesium acetate. Reducing the amount of salt used or using alternative de-icers without salt, particularly in areas with high vehicle-wildlife collision rates, may reduce the attractiveness of roadsides to wildlife.
A study in Canada found that filling roadside salt pools with rocks (thus rendering them unavailable as salt-lick sources) reduced the number and duration of visits by moose Alces alces (Leblond et al. 2007; see Modify the roadside environment to reduce collisions by reducing attractiveness of road verges to mammals).
Leblond M., Dussault C., Ouellet J.-P., Poulin M., Courtois R. & Fortin J. (2007) Management of roadside salt pools to reduce moose–vehicle collisions. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 71, 2304–2310.