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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effectiveness of acoustic road markings in reducing deer-vehicle collisions: a behavioural study

Published source details

Ujvári M., Baagøe H.J. & Madsen A.B. (2004) Effectiveness of acoustic road markings in reducing deer-vehicle collisions: a behavioural study. Wildlife Biology, 10, 155-159


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Install acoustic wildlife warnings along roads Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A before-and-after study in 1997 in a mixed hardwood forest in Zealand, Denmark (Ujvári et al. 2004) found that acoustic road markings did not alter the behaviour of fallow deer Dama dama. Behavioural responses varied among nights, but deer showed increasing indifference to sounds from road markings over 11 nights (i.e. deer appeared to become habituated). Behaviour differed before (flight: 2%, no reaction: 96–99%) and during playbacks, but deer reactions declined over 10 nights of playbacks (night 1: flight 13%; nights 8–10: flight 3–0%, no reaction 88–99%). An area of forest next to an unpaved road closed to vehicles was selected where a herd of 6–12 fallow deer were fed (maize). Recordings of a car passing two types of acoustic road markings which produced sounds when a vehicle’s tyres passed over (low frequency longflex; higher spossflex), multiplied to 70 sequences (each 0.11–0.16 s) were made. Behavioural responses of deer to play-back sounds (58 decibels) at predetermined time intervals (exposure for: 5, 2, 7, 3, 1 and 2 minutes) were monitored over 11 nights in February–March 1997. Behaviour was also recorded every 15 minutes during the two nights before sound trials commenced.

(Summarised by Rebecca K. Smith)