Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Importance of road crossing structures proved in reduction of animal mortality on roads

18.09.2008
Spanish highways are increasingly incorporating walkways specially designed for wild animals, or mixed use structures designed for other purposes, which connect wildlife from one side of the road to the other.

Researchers at the Autonomous University of Madrid have analysed 43 walkways used by vertebrates to quantify the importance of these structures, which facilitate animals’ natural movements and reduce mortality caused by vehicles and, consequently, traffic accidents.

Researchers from the Department of Ecology at the Autonomous University of Madrid and the CEDEX (Ministry of Public Works) have spent several years studying how various animal species use the wildlife walkways and other structures that enable them to cross highways. According to the scientists, these crossings, which may be specifically designed for the purpose, or have mixed use (drains, subways and bridges) reduce traffic accidents through collisions with animals.

“The effectiveness of these structures is a key feature in wildlife conservation, particularly bearing in mind the relentless growth of communication networks, which is leading to an increasingly fragmented countryside, full of barriers to wildlife that are at times impossible to cross,” Cristina Mata, researcher at the Autonomous University of Madrid, told SINC.

The study, published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Environmental Management, has enabled an evaluation to be carried out of the design of structures that stop animals crossing the tarmac and reduce the accident rate on Spanish roads. According to data from the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT), there were 10,000 traffic accidents caused by collisions with animals on roads in 2006 alone, resulting in 1,000 human injuries and 23 deaths.

Of the 43 structures analysed using digital photography techniques and other more traditional means, such as footprints left on a powdered marble surface, the tracks of 424 different animals were recorded between the months of March and June 2001. Mata says that this “shows how the construction of walkways specifically for the use of wildlife is justified, while the adaptation of drains or increasing the size of existing structures should also be borne in mind because of the attraction of these structures for certain species and their relatively low cost”.

The work was carried out on part of the A-42 highway between Camarzana de Tera (km 34, in the province of Zamora) and Orense (km 217). This four-lane road is fenced along its length and was opened to traffic in 1998. It is used each day by about 4,500 vehicles, 23% of them lorries, which could endanger the lives of vertebrate populations living in the area.

A solution to reduce accidents involving wild boar and deer

Lizards, snakes, small rodents such as mice, shrews, moles and rats, Iberian hares, weasels, wild cats, wolves and dogs are among the animals identified, as well as wild boar and deer. On average, the researchers registered 0.99 animal tracks per day during the study period.

The results show that 17 different animal species use the structures that cross the road. One of the most commonly recorded in all the various structures were foxes, with an average of 0.27 crossings per day. Other species such as badgers also showed high usage. The results obtained for wild boar, as well as for roe deer and other deer, support the importance of building large crossing points specifically designed for these animals.

SINC Team | alfa
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>