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Evaluating the effects of wildlife exclusion fencing on road mortality for medium-sized and small mammals along Quebec’s Route 175

Title:

Evaluating the effects of wildlife exclusion fencing on road mortality for medium-sized and small mammals along Quebec’s Route 175

Bélanger-Smith, Katrina (2014) Evaluating the effects of wildlife exclusion fencing on road mortality for medium-sized and small mammals along Quebec’s Route 175. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Increasingly, transportation agencies are implementing mitigation measures with the aim of alleviating the negative effects of roads on wildlife. Few studies have examined the responses of medium-sized and small mammals to these mitigation measures. Route 175 between Quebec City and Saguenay was widened from two to four lanes and in conjunction wildlife passages and associated exclusion fencing designated for medium-sized and small mammals were implemented. We surveyed mammal mortality along a 68 km section of Route 175 to address two research questions: (1) Do passages in combination with exclusion fences reduce road mortality? and (2) Are small-meshed fences effective in guiding animals towards the passages or do they displace road mortality to fence-ends? Daily mortality surveys were conducted between June and October 2012 and 2013, detecting 528 road mortalities comprising 18 species or taxonomic groupings. There was no statistically significant reduction in wildlife vehicle collisions (WVCs) with the existing exclusion fencing design. Additionally, WVCs occurred at a higher rate at fence-ends than in unfenced road segments for all medium-sized mammals grouped and for red fox. Habitat variables were found to influence the locations of WVCs, however these effects are highly species-specific. We recommend the implementation of species appropriate exclusion fencing to better guide animals towards wildlife passages. Species morphology, behavior, and daily movement range should be considered in the construction of exclusion fencing.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Biology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Bélanger-Smith, Katrina
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Biology
Date:December 2014
Thesis Supervisor(s):Jaeger, Jochen A.G. and Clevenger, Anthony P.
Keywords:Road ecology; Road-kill; Mitigation measures; Exclusion fencing; Medium-sized mammals; Small mammals
ID Code:979605
Deposited By: KATRINA BELANGER-SMITH
Deposited On:13 Jul 2015 16:00
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:49

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