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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Factors affecting culvert use by vertebrates along two stretches of road in southern Portugal

Published source details

Ascensão F. & Mira A. (2007) Factors affecting culvert use by vertebrates along two stretches of road in southern Portugal. Ecological Research, 22, 57–66


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

Install barrier fencing and underpasses along roads Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated study in 2004 along two roads through agricultural land in Alentejo, Portugal (Ascensão & Mira 2007) found that all 34 monitored culverts, some in areas with roadside fencing, were used by mammals. Crossings were made by small mammals (289 crossings, 34 culverts), hedgehogs Erinaceus europaeus (55 crossings, 15 culverts), hares and rabbits (71 crossings, 15 culverts), weasels Mustela nivalis (16 crossings, 9 culverts), stone martens Martes foina (93 crossings, 28 culverts), Eurasian badgers Meles meles (55 crossings, 10 culverts), otters Lutra lutra (2 crossings, 2 culverts), common genets Genetta genetta (65 crossings, 20 culverts), Egyptian mongooses Herpestes ichneumon (82 crossings, 21 culverts) and red foxes Vulpes vulpes (27 crossings, 12 culverts). A total of 34 culverts (<1.0 m wide, 8–25 m long) were monitored along two roads (17 culverts along each). Road sections studied were 16 and 30 km long. There was 1.5-m-high roadside fencing along the 30-km section. Tracks were monitored using marble dust (60–100 cm wide) which was placed inside each end of each culvert. Tracks were recorded on four days in each of spring, summer and autumn 2004 (total 408 culvert monitoring days).

(Summarised by Rebecca K. Smith)