Do roe deer react to wildlife warning reflectors? A test combining a controlled experiment with field observations

  • Published source details Brieger F., Hagen R., Kröschel M., Hartig F., Petersen I., Ortmann S. & Suchant R. (2017) Do roe deer react to wildlife warning reflectors? A test combining a controlled experiment with field observations. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 63, 72.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Install wildlife warning reflectors along roads

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Install wildlife warning reflectors along roads

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2002–2014 in two grassland sites and five roadside areas in Germany (Brieger et al. 2017) found that wildlife warning reflectors along roads did not cause roe deer Capreolus capreolus to evade traffic more effectively. In two fenced grassland areas, there was no significant difference in successful evasion of traffic when wildlife reflectors were used and not used (data reported as model results). The same results were found in five roadside areas (data reported as model results). In two fenced grassland areas, reflectors and headlights (mimicking cars), headlights without reflectors and no reflectors or headlights were each in place for two periods of one week each. This was carried out four times between September 2012 and April 2014. The order of these combinations of reflectors and lights was varied randomly. Groups of three to six deer occupied each area. Their behaviour was monitored by infrared video cameras. At five sites, three thermal cameras were installed between June 2012 and June 2014 in trees close to roads at 3–4 m high. Between July 2012 and April 2014, wildlife warning reflectors were installed along both side of the roads. The behaviour of roe deer clearly visible in video recordings was documented.

    (Summarised by: Phil Martin)

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