Mule deer use of underpasses in western and southeastern Wyoming

  • Published source details Gordon K.M. & Anderson S.H. (2003) Mule deer use of underpasses in western and southeastern Wyoming. Proceedings of the 2003 International Conference on Ecology and Transportation, Center for Transportation and the Environment, North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC, USA, 309-318.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Install barrier fencing and underpasses along roads

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

    A study in 2001–2003 along two highways in Wyoming, USA (Gordon & Anderson 2003) found that use of underpasses, in areas with roadside fencing, by mule deer Odocoileus hemionus decreased with a decrease in underpass width. Only one of the six underpasses was consistently used by mule deer, accounting for 91% of the 1,028 recorded crossings made through all underpasses. It had a high cross section:length ratio and was near a historic migration route. At an experimental underpass, the percentage of deer turning away from the underpass increased significantly as the cross section:length ratio decreased. Six (of 12) underpasses along a section of Interstate 80 were monitored. Four were box type and two were small gravel road underpasses. Use was assessed using infrared-triggered cameras and track surveys. One experimental underpass was installed in 2001. It was 18 m long. The width was experimentally manipulated from 3–6 m and height from 2–3 m. Video cameras recorded deer behaviour. Underpasses were monitored from autumn 2001 to spring 2003. Fences, 2.4 m high, ran alongside the highway.

    (Summarised by: Rebecca K. Smith)

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