Country roadways can be hazardous for moose and men. According to estimates, millions of vehicles collide with moose, elk and caribou in North America and Europe each year. Moose, in particular, venture to roadsides to lick the salt pools that collect following pavement deicing.
Because moose are the largest animal in the deer family, with males weighing up to 720 kilograms, their salt cravings can pose significant risks to human and vehicle safety. That's why a group of Canadian researchers has investigated ways to encourage moose away from roads.
In a new study, published in the journal Ecological Modelling, lead author Paul D. Grosman reports how the large mammals can adeptly recall the salt pools they visit in previous years. "When the scheduled time came to go to a salt pool, moose moved directly to it with purpose," says Grosman, a graduate student in the Concordia University Department of Geography, Planning and Environment. "Sodium concentration is two or three times higher in roadside salt pools compared to aquatic plants, yet those salt pools increase the probability of moose-vehicle collisions by 80 percent."
To avoid moose-man collisions, the best scenario is to completely remove roadside salt pools, Grosman stresses: "If compensation salt pools are used, they should be located as far as possible from the roads – beyond 500 meters."
Grosman conducted his investigation with Concordia professors Jochen A.G. Jaeger and Pascale M. Biron, as well as colleagues from the Université du Québec à Rimouski and the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec (Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife). The research team focused on a portion of the Laurentides Wildlife Reserve, situated between Quebec City and Saguenay, which features two provincial highways crossing its territory.
Some 47 tagged moose were monitored for three years via global positioning system as they travelled, rested and foraged. A computer-animated control group of 40 moose served as a point of comparison.
The research team tested various scenarios, such as removing salt pools altogether or creating compensation salt pools. Although moose could travel as much as 10 kilometers to drink from salt pools, their road crossings could be reduced by as much as 79 per cent when all road-side salt pools were removed.
"The most effective management strategy is to remove all salt pools, without creating any compensatory ones, and let moose return to foraging for aquatic plants to satisfy their sodium dietary requirement," says Grosman, noting that other costlier security measures include fencing highways or building wildlife underpasses.
From May 24 to May 27, 2011, Jaeger and Grosman will take part in a French language conference on large and small fauna, in Quebec City: "Routes et faune terrestre: De la science aux solutions." For more information, please consult the conference website at www.uqar.ca/routes-faune-terrestre.
Partners in research:
This study was funded by the Ministère des Transports du Québec, the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec, the Université du Québec à Rimouski, the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the J.W. McConnell Graduate Memorial Fellowship.
About the study:
The paper, Trade-off between road avoidance and attraction by roadside salt pools in moose: An agent-based model to assess measures for reducing moose-vehicle collisions," published in the journal Ecological Modelling, was coauthored by Paul D. Grosman, Jochen A.G. Jaeger and Pascale M. Biron of Concordia University, Christian Dussault of the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec and Jean-Pierre Ouellet of the Université du Québec à Rimouski.
Related links:Cited research: http://bit.ly/lSumfc
Université du Québec à Rimouski : www.uqar.caSource:
Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins | EurekAlert!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.04.2017 | Life Sciences