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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The use of a motorway wildlife overpass by large mammals

Published source details

van Wieren S.E. & Worm P.B. (2001) The use of a motorway wildlife overpass by large mammals. Netherlands Journal of Zoology, 51, 97-105


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

Install overpasses over roads/railways Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 1989 and 1994–1995 along a motorway between Arnhem and Apeldoorn in the Netherlands (van Wieren & Worm 2001) found that a wildlife overpass was used by deer, wild boar Sus scrofa, rodents and carnivores. The overpass was used most frequently by red deer Cervus elaphus (1989: 0.1–9 crossings/night; 1994–1995: 4–21) and wild boar (1989: 0.5–21; 1994–1995: 0.5–8.5). It was used less often by roe deer Capreolus capreolus (1989: 2.0 crossings/night; 1995–1994: 0.5) and fallow deer Dama dama (data not presented). Twenty-five rodents and shrews, of three species, wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus, common vole Microtus arvalis and common shrew Sorex araneus, were caught on the overpass. Overpasses were also used by badger Meles meles and red fox Vulpes vulpes. Overall numbers of crossings was greater in 1994–1995 than 1989 (16 vs 12 crossings/night). The overpass was constructed in the late 1980s. It was 50 m wide, 95 m long and planted with trees. Large mammal tracks were recorded on a 5-m-wide sand strip across the overpass, on 93 occasions in 1989 and 114 occasions in May 1994–April 1995. Small mammals were caught during five nights in summer 1995 using 20 live traps at each end and 32 mouse-traps between.

(Summarised by Rebecca K. Smith)