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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effectiveness of wildlife warning reflectors in reducing deer vehicle collisions: a behavioral study

Published source details

Ujvári M., Baagøe H.J. & Madsen A.B. (1998) Effectiveness of wildlife warning reflectors in reducing deer vehicle collisions: a behavioral study. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 62, 1094-1099


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Install wildlife warning reflectors along roads Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 1996 in a forest in Zealand, Denmark (Ujvári et al. 1998) found that fallow deer Dama dama initially responded to wildlife reflectors with alarm and flight but became habituated to the light reflection. On the first night, using a low level of lighting, deer fled from the reflection in 99% of cases. On night five, using the same light level, only 16% fled and 74% did not react. On nights 6–7 with four light levels, 86–94% fled. However, on nights 16–17 only 30–37% fled and 38–48% showed no response. Following a one-night break, deer fled almost twice as much as they did the night before the break (35–90% vs 20–54%). Feeding deer were exposed to light reflections (WEGU reflector; two sloping mirrors within a cover) at predetermined time intervals and their behavioural responses were recorded. Data were collected over 17 nights (two with no lighting used) in April 1996. Only the lowest light level was used on the first five nights. Subsequently, four levels were used.

(Summarised by Rebecca K. Smith)