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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: A sampling of wildlife use in relation to structure variables for bridges and culverts under I-90 between Alberton and St. Regis, Montana

Published source details

Servheen C., Shoemaker R. & Lawrence L. (2003) A sampling of wildlife use in relation to structure variables for bridges and culverts under I-90 between Alberton and St. Regis, Montana. Proceedings of the 2003 International Conference on Ecology and Transportation, Center for Transportation and the Environment, North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC, USA, 331-341.


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Install barrier fencing and underpasses along roads Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 2002–2003 along a highway in Montana, USA (Servheen et al. 2003) found that seven bridge underpasses, in areas with roadside fencing, were used by white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus, mule deer Odocoileus hemionus and elk Cervus canadensis. White-tailed deer were photographed 791 times, mule deer 379 times and elk 100 times. Between 38 and 430 deer were recorded at each underpass, but none in culverts. Smaller numbers were recorded of striped skunk Mephitis mephitis (nine photographs), raccoon Procyon lotor (three), red fox Vulpes vulpes (one), coyote Canis latrans (three) and black bear Ursus americanus (one). There was no significant relationships between wildlife use and underpass structural features. Distribution of mammal road deaths was independent of underpass locations. Seven bridge underpasses and three culverts were monitored along an 80-km highway section from October 2002 to July 2003. Crossings connected with roadside fencing, though this was inadequately maintained and was permeable to deer. Heat- and motion- sensitive cameras were used at underpasses (for 101–700 camera days/underpass). Details about location, structure, vegetation cover and human activities were recorded for each underpass. Road deaths were opportunistically recorded and combined with data collected by road maintenance crews (spanning 1998–2002).

(Summarised by Rebecca K. Smith)