The research, carried out by professors Juan Manuel Pleguezuelos Gómez and Jesús Caro (University of Granada) and Ricardo Reques (of the company Ornitour), has revealed that the Common Toad and the Montpellier Snake are the amphibian and the reptile most frequently run over, with more than 33% of the total deaths since 2004.
The authors of this research explain that “roads are the barriers which most hamper the movement of amphibians and reptiles”. During the period of time analysed, 57.39% of the dead animals found were reptiles and 42.61% (202) amphibians. Of the 24 species that have been identified, there are 12 amphibians (75% of the amphibian species in the region) and 12 reptiles (42,8% of the reptile species in the area).
Amphibians and ophidians are the most jeopardized species
For the purpose of this research, GPS systems were used to locate all the amphibians and reptiles run over by automobiles, and local herpetologues were asked about the existence of other traffic black-spots for amphibians and reptiles.
Some roads with intense traffic may cause the death of 100% of the amphibians that try to cross them, which threatens to cause their local extinction in some years. Amphibians are more likely to be run over at dusk on rainy days, from autumn to spring, on road sections near areas suitable for reproduction (small lakes, non-permanent pools and brooks, watering holes, etc.).
The Ophidian (snakes) is the reptile most frequently run over, with 92,25% of the total deaths analysed by the researchers of the UGR. Road kills are more frequent during the spring months, as this is when reptiles move because of the rut (may-june), and they affect mainly males looking for mates. Females are more likely to be run over at the end of the spring and the beginning of the summer when they move in search of an appropriate place for laying. There is also an increase in deaths at the end of the summer and the beginning of the autumn due to the dispersion of newborns or when adults show a high level of trophic activity after the summer lethargy.
Taking measuresFor these reasons, the scientists point out that it is on these sections that measures have to be adopted to reduce the number of animals run over by automobiles. The iniciatives proposed are diverse: the construction of level crossings or subways, the creation of alternative reproductive habitats such as pools or watering holes for amphibians in order to reduce the migration of specimens across roads in search of adequate areas for their reproduction. Or even to limit the traffic on those roads during the periods of high migration, a measure to be adopted only on very particular points where the incidence of road kills is very high.
Furthermore, these researchers consider that Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) need to be improved in order to correctly evaluate the impact of new roads on the populations of reptiles and amphibians.
Antonio Marín Ruiz | alfa
Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
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...
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...
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...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
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...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences