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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Highway right-of-way fences as deer deterrents

Published source details

Falk N.W., Graves H.B. & Bellis E.D. (1978) Highway right-of-way fences as deer deterrents. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 42, 646-650


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 along roads Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A controlled, before-and-after study in 1975 along a highway through mixed hardwood forest in Pennsylvania, USA (Falk et al. 1978) found that provided, it was in good repair, 2.3-m-high fencing prevented most white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus crossing a highway. Significantly fewer deer crossed the fence once it had been repaired (0–6), compared to before (77–84) and once repairs were undone (23–153), and compared to control sections (on which repairs were not carried out) during the same periods (24–247; 111–141; 53–268 crossings respectively). The 2.3-m-high fences ran either side of a four-lane highway, with a top section angled 45° away from the highway. The study site comprised two 0.8-km control sections with a 1.6-km experimental section between. Fence defects included gaps under the fence and lowered or broken top wires. Tracks in snow and sand along the fence both sides of the highway were monitored before repairs, after repairs along the experimental section and after repairs were undone. This cycle was implemented once in both winter and spring 1975 and tracks were surveyed over five days during each period.

(Summarised by Rebecca K. Smith)