Study

Mitigation measures to reduce highway mortality of turtles and other herpetofauna at a north Florida lake

  • Published source details Aresco M.J. (2005) Mitigation measures to reduce highway mortality of turtles and other herpetofauna at a north Florida lake. Journal of Wildlife Management, 69, 549-560.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Install barriers and crossing structures along roads/railways

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Install barrier fencing along roads

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation

Install culverts or tunnels as road crossings

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation
  1. Install barriers and crossing structures along roads/railways

    A before-and-after study in 2000–2003 along a highway in Florida, USA (Aresco 2005) found that turtle road mortality decreased following the installation of drift fencing leading to a culvert. Turtle mortality on a road, primarily Florida cooter Pseudemys floridana and yellow-bellied slider Trachemys scripta, decreased after drift fencing was added to a culvert (0.1 individuals/km/day) compared to beforehand (11.9 individuals/km/day). During the study >200 individual turtle tracks and >25 alligator tracks were observed in the culvert. There was no evidence of predation of turtles at the culvert. In 2000, vinyl fences (600–700 m long, 0.6 m high) were installed along each side of a four-lane causeway to divert animals towards a culvert (diameter: 3.5 m, length: 46.6 m, built in 1963–1965). The bottom fence edge was buried approximately 20 cm underground and fence ends curved away from the road after >80–100 m. The highway and culvert were monitored using visual searches two–four times/day before (February–April 2000) and after (April 2000–November 2003) the construction of the fence (1,367 total survey days).

    (Summarised by: Guy Rotem, Katie Sainsbury)

  2. Install barrier fencing along roads

    A before-and-after study in 2000–2003 of temporary fencing along a highway to a culvert by Lake Jackson, Florida, USA (Aresco 2005) found that 70% of amphibians and reptiles (not including turtles) were diverted from the highway towards the culvert. Twelve amphibian species were recorded along the barrier. Fences diverted 74% of the 1,088 upland and semi-aquatic amphibians and reptiles from the highway (at fence: 74%; dead on road: 26%). Twenty-two percent of the 299 aquatic animals were also diverted (alive at fence: 22%; dead at fence: 2%; dead on road: 76%). In particular, the fence diverted small frogs and toads. Some species were significantly underestimated. The temporary fence was installed along the highway to divert animals to a culvert in April 2000 (700 m; 0.4 m high) and September 2000 (600 m). Monitoring was undertaken 1–4 times/day by walking the fence and checking the road and culvert until November 2003.

  3. Install culverts or tunnels as road crossings

    A study in 2000–2003 of a culvert under a highway by Lake Jackson, Florida, USA (Aresco 2005) found that at least three amphibian species used the culvert. Many leopard frog Rana sphenocephala, pig frog Rana grylio and American bullfrog Rana catesbeiana were observed moving through the culvert. In total, 12 amphibian species were recorded along the fence and road. A temporary fence was installed along the highway to divert animals to an existing metal drainage culvert in April 2000 (700 m; 0.4 m high) and September 2000 (600 m). Monitoring was undertaken 1–4 times daily by walking the fence and checking the road and culvert until November 2003.

     

Output references
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