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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Wildlife use of existing culverts and bridges in north central Pennsylvania

Published source details

Brudin C.O. (2003) Wildlife use of existing culverts and bridges in north central Pennsylvania. Proceedings of the 2003 International Conference on Ecology and Transportation, Center for Transportation and the Environment, North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC, USA, 334-352.

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Install barrier fencing and underpasses along roads Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated study in 2000–2003 along a highway in Pennsylvania, USA (Brudin 2003) found that a range of mammals used box culverts and bridge underpasses, some of which were in areas with roadside fencing. In the first phase, eight of nine culverts were used by mammals, with white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus (one culvert), raccoon Procyon lotor (seven), opossum Didelphis marsupialis (two), feral cat Felis catus (one), long-tailed weasel Mustela frenata (one), red fox Vulpes fulva (one), striped skunk Mephitis mephitis (one) and black bear Ursus americanus (one) recorded. In the second phase, white-tailed deer used nine of 20 larger culverts (with higher cross-section:length ratios). Black bears, opossums, raccoons and muskrats Ondatra zibethicus also used these culverts. Deer did not use culverts >90 m long, but use was not affected by substrate (concrete, natural or water). In September–November 2000, nine culverts were monitored using infrared-triggered cameras. Approximately half of the culverts had sediment on their floors. Twenty larger culverts that were considered suitable for deer (out of 70) were monitored using cameras, 10 in September–November 2002 and 10 in May–July 2003. Entrances to 13 of these were separated from roads by right-of-way fencing.

(Summarised by Rebecca K. Smith)