Use of highway underpasses by large mammals and other wildlife in Virginia: factors influencing their effectiveness

  • Published source details Donaldson B. (2007) Use of highway underpasses by large mammals and other wildlife in Virginia: factors influencing their effectiveness. Transportation Research Record, 2011, 157-164


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Install tunnels/culverts/underpass under roads

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Install tunnels/culverts/underpass under roads

    A study in 2004–2005 at seven sites along roads through forest in Virginia, USA (Donaldson 2007) found that white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus used underpasses to cross the road but black bears Ursus americanus did not. White-tailed deer crossed through four of seven underpasses monitored, with a total of 1,107 crossings detected. Black bears approached one underpass entrance three times, but did not cross through. Other mammals recorded in underpasses included opossums Didelphis virginiana, bobcats Lynx rufus, red foxes Vulpes vulpes, coyotes Canis latrans, raccoons Procyon lotor and groundhogs Marmota monax as well as squirrels and mice (see paper for details). Seven underpasses were monitored. Five were culverts (1.8–6.1 m wide, 1.8–4.6 m high and 21–79 m long). Two were crossings under bridges (13–94 m wide, 5–14 m high and 10–18 m long). Underpasses were not fenced and most had a narrow water section. Underpasses were monitored from June 2004 to May 2005, using one or two camera traps at each entrance.

Output references

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 17

Go to the CE Journal

Subscribe to our newsletter

Please add your details if you are interested in receiving updates from the Conservation Evidence team about new papers, synopses and opportunities.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust