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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Testing potential repellents for mitigation of vehicle-induced mortality of wild ungulates in Ontario

Published source details

Castiov F. (1999) Testing potential repellents for mitigation of vehicle-induced mortality of wild ungulates in Ontario. Masters MSc Degree Thesis. School of Graduate Studies and Research. Laurentian University, Ontario, Canada.


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Use chemical repellents along roads or railways Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 1996–1998 in forest in Ontario, Canada (Castiov 1999) found that 18 scent repellents (trialled for potential to deter animals from roads) did not deter white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianris, elk Cervus canadensis nelsoni or moose Alces alces americana. Animals used a similar proportion of trails with repellents applied (63–80%) and of trails without repellents (62–74%). Similarly, at mineral licks with repellents, there were fresh animal tracks on 59% of days, which was not significantly different to the 72% of days at mineral licks without repellents. Eighteen potential repellents were identified (from literature review) and tested on wild deer or deer, elk and moose. Repellents were mainly chemicals, including commercial repellents (Deer Away powder, Critter Ridder, mothballs) and those that simulated predators (e.g. wolf, coyote) or humans (soap, hair, clothing, sweat), but also included wolf and human silhouettes. Use of pairs of trails through snow (up to 240 pairs) with head-height repellents or without repellents, were monitored by counting tracks in winter 1997 or 1998. Repellents were also tested at a mineral lick. Use of this was monitored by track counts and an infra-red camera on days with and without repellents, in summer 1997.

(Summarised by Rebecca K. Smith)