Influence of underpasses and traffic on white-tailed deer highway permeability

  • Published source details Dodd N.L. & Gagnon J.W. (2011) Influence of underpasses and traffic on white-tailed deer highway permeability. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 35, 270-281.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Install barrier fencing and underpasses along roads

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Install barrier fencing and underpasses along roads

    A study in 2003–2007 at six sites along a highway through forest and shrubland in Arizona, USA (Taylor & Goldingay 2010) found that underpasses, in areas with ungulate-proof fencing, were used by white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus and that underpass use was not affected by traffic levels. Crossing rates of white-tailed deer that approached underpasses did not differ significantly between traffic volume levels of 0 vehicles/minute (0.28 crossings/approach), 1–2 vehicles/minute (0.34 crossings/approach), 2–4 vehicles/minute (0.40 crossings/approach), 4–6 vehicles/minute (0.27 crossings/approach) and >6 vehicles/minute (0.28 crossings/approach). Deer passage rates and traffic flows were monitored at six wildlife underpasses beneath 27 km of an upgraded four-lane highway. Underpasses were 53–128 m long and 5–15 m high. Five underpasses had a fenced above-ground section (11–48 m long) between the two carriageways. Roadside fencing, 2.4 m high, was gradually installed with the full road section fenced by 2006. Four video cameras with infrared beams monitored traffic and deer at each underpass in 2003–2007. The number of deer approaching within 50 m of underpasses and the number crossing the highway through underpasses was counted.

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha )

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