Study

Factors affecting road mortality and the suitability of road verges for butterflies

  • Published source details Skórka P., Lenda M., Moro? D., Kalarus K. & Tryjanowski P. (2013) Factors affecting road mortality and the suitability of road verges for butterflies. Biological Conservation, 159, 148-157.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Alter mowing regimes on greenspaces and road verges

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation

Restore or maintain species-rich grassland along road/railway verges

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Alter mowing regimes on greenspaces and road verges

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2010 on 60 road verges in southern Poland (Skórka et al. 2013) found that less frequently or later mown road verges, which provided more suitable habitat, had fewer individuals and a lower species diversity of dead butterflies killed by traffic than more frequently or earlier mown verges. Both the number of individual butterflies and number of species killed by traffic were lower on verges mown less frequently, or later in the summer, than on more frequently or earlier mown verges (data presented as model results). Sixty roads, >2 km apart, with verges of similar width and vegetation on each side, were selected. Between roads, verges differed in the frequency and timing at which they were mown. From April–September 2010, butterflies were surveyed 12 times on two 100-m transects along each side of each road. Dead butterflies were collected from the asphalt and the first metre of verge next to the road.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

  2. Restore or maintain species-rich grassland along road/railway verges

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2010 in 60 road verges in southern Poland (Skórka et al. 2013) found that less frequently or later mown road verges had fewer individuals and a lower species diversity of dead butterflies than more frequently or earlier mown verges, and wide road verges attracted a higher abundance and species richness of butterflies than narrower road verges. Both the number of individual butterflies and number of species killed by traffic were lower on verges mown less frequently, or later in the summer, than on more frequently or earlier mown verges (data presented as model results). In addition, both the abundance and species richness of butterflies on wider road verges was higher than on narrow verges, and higher on verges with a greater species richness of plants (data presented as model results). Sixty roads, >2 km apart, with verges of similar width and vegetation on each side, were selected. Between roads, verges differed in the frequency and timing at which they were mown. From April–September 2010, butterflies were surveyed 12 times on two 100-m transects along each side of each road. Dead butterflies were collected from the asphalt and the first metre of verge next to the road. Live butterflies were counted within 2.5 m of the road edge.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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