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 WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

nachricht First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

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: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>