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. Journal of Wildlife Management, 42, 646-650.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Install barrier fencing along roads

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Install barrier fencing along roads

    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)

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