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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effectiveness of Swareflex reflectors in reducing deer-vehicle accidents

Published source details

Schafer J.A. & Penland S.T. (1985) Effectiveness of Swareflex reflectors in reducing deer-vehicle accidents. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 49, 774-776


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Install wildlife warning reflectors along roads Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 1981–1984 in a forest-grassland area in Washington, USA (Schafer & Penland 1985) found that wildlife reflectors reduced road deaths of deer Odocoileus sp. Fewer deer were killed when reflectors were uncovered (6 of the 58 killed overall) compared to when they were covered (52 of the 58 road-kills recorded). Four test sections were established along a highway (0.7–1.1 km long). Swareflex wildlife reflectors (17 × 5 cm; red) were mounted on 1-m posts, 20 m apart (10 m at bends) and 1 m from the edge of the highway. Reflectors in each section were alternately covered and uncovered at 1-week intervals during October–April from February 1981–April 1984. Intervals were extended to two week after December 1982. Alternate test sections were paired so that reflectors in each pair were covered while reflectors in adjacent sections were uncovered. Road-kills were recorded daily.

(Summarised by Rebecca K. Smith)