Effects of Interstate highway fencing on white-tailed deer activity

  • Published source details Feldhamer G.A., Gates J.E., Harman D.M., Loranger A.J. & Dixon K.R. (1986) Effects of Interstate highway fencing on white-tailed deer activity. Journal of Wildlife Management, 50, 497-503.


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 study in 1981–1983 in forest in Pennsylvania, USA (Feldhamer et al. 1986) found that a 2.7-m-high deer-proof fence reduced the number of white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus on the highway compared to a 2.2-m-high fence, but did not reduce road-kills. A total of 240 groups of deer were observed on the highway alongside 23 km of 2.7-m-high fence compared to 465 alongside 18 km of 2.2-m-high fence. Overall, 1,687 deer (82% of all sightings) were on highway verges. In 1981–1983, one hundred deer died on the highway (1.2 deer/km/year) and numbers did not differ between fence types. Deer were monitored along a 41-km section of a 4–6-lane highway, 23 km of which had a 2.7-m-high mesh fence and the remainder a 2.2-m-high fence with an overhang. Thirty-six spotlight surveys were undertaken along the highway from January 1981 to January 1983.

    (Summarised by: Rebecca K. Smith)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust