Action: Close roads in defined seasons
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- One study evaluated the effects on mammals of closing roads in defined seasons. This study was in the USA.
COMMUNITY RESPONSE (0 STUDIES)
POPULATION RESPONSE (0 STUDIES)
BEHAVIOUR (1 STUDY)
- Use (1 study): A site comparison study in the USA found that closing roads to traffic during the hunting season increased use of those areas by mule deer.
Some mammals may avoid areas around roads (e.g. Rost & Bailey 1979). Closing these roads to traffic, especially at times of the year when they most use the habitat that the road runs through, may increase their use of such areas and, hence, increase their access to natural resources such as food and shelter.
Rost G.R. & Bailey J.A. (1979) Distribution of mule deer and elk in relation to roads. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 43, 634–641.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A site comparison study in 2015 in a forest in Oregon, USA (Curtis & Du Toit 2017) found that closing roads to traffic during the hunting season increased use of those areas by mule deer Odocoilius hemionus. Mule deer positions were closer to closed roads (average 190 m) than to open roads (average 1,250 m). In March 2015, an unspecified number of mule deer were captured and fitted with GPS collars that recorded their location every 13 hours. Deer locations and distances to the nearest road were recorded in August–October 2015. During this period, an unspecified number of roads in the area were closed to vehicles, while others remained open. This period overlapped with the legal hunting season.