Study

Behavioral response of mule deer to a highway underpass

  • Published source details Reed D.F., Woodard T.N. & Pojar T.M. (1975) Behavioral response of mule deer to a highway underpass. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 39, 361-367

Actions

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 before-and-after study in 1970–1973 along a highway in Colorado, USA (Reed et al. 1975; same experimental set-up as Reed 1981) found that an underpass, in areas with roadside fencing and one-way gates, reduced road mortalities and allowed most local mule deer Odocoileus hemionus to migrate safely under a highway. There were 14 deer-vehicle accidents/year within the fenced section compared to 36/year before installation of the underpass and fencing. On average, 345 mule deer (61% of the local population) used the culvert each season, with up to 17 crossings/day. Underpass use was not affected by artificial lighting. On average, 17% of deer used one-way gates to escape the highway and 17% went round the ends of fences or did not cross. In 1970, a concrete box underpass (3 × 3 × 30 m, with two skylights) was installed under a 3.2-km section of highway. The 2.4-m-high barrier fencing either side had eight one-way gates. Underpass-use was monitored by track counts and mechanical counters daily and a video camera at night during spring–summer and autumn migrations in 1970–1973. Artificial lighting was alternately turned on and off over 28 nights, in June and October 1973. Tracks at gates and deer movements along the fence were monitored each morning.

    (Summarised by: Rebecca K. Smith)

Output references

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, terrestrial 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 18

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 Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust