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Monitoring the use and effectiveness of wildlife passages for small and medium-sized mammals along Highway 175: Main results and recommendations - News Bulletin no 8

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Monitoring the use and effectiveness of wildlife passages for small and medium-sized mammals along Highway 175: Main results and recommendations - News Bulletin no 8

Jaeger, Jochen A.G., Spanowicz, Ariel, Bowman, Jeff and Clevenger, Anthony P. (2017) Monitoring the use and effectiveness of wildlife passages for small and medium-sized mammals along Highway 175: Main results and recommendations - News Bulletin no 8. Documentation. Concordia University, Montreal.

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Abstract

Roads and traffic negatively impact many wildlife populations because they increase wildlife mortality, are barriers to animal movement and reduce the amount and quality of available habitat. There is increasing concern about the reduction in connectivity for wildlife across roads.
During the widening of Highway 175 between Québec City and Saguenay from two to four lanes (in 2006 - 2011), 33 wildlife underpasses for medium-sized and small mammals were constructed along the highway between km 60 and km 144. They are among the first designated wildlife passages for medium-sized and small mammals in the province of Québec.
Our research project had three main objectives:
To characterize the locations and rates of vehicle collisions with medium-sized and small mammals and to evaluate the changes in the frequency of highway-related mortality due to the mitigation measures.
To determine the performance of the four types of wildlife passages for medium-sized and small mammals.
To assess how well the mitigation measures provide for the permeability of the highway for individuals and for gene flow across the road, with a focus on the American marten.
Based on the results, we provide 16 recommendations, 9 of which relate to possible improvements of road mitigation measures and 7 relate to monitoring and research.
Making good use of the large research potential of HW 175 can make an important contribution to improved knowledge about the effectiveness of road mitigation. The HWY 175 is particularly suitable for such research for several reasons, e.g., our study provides 4 years of baseline data about small and medium-sized mammals, which is a rare opportunity, and because the high numbers of animals being killed on HWS 175 result in larger sample sizes and in faster detection of the wildlife responses to modifications to the mitigation measures than in areas with lower wildlife mortality.
The implementation of 33 wildlife passages for small and medium-sized fauna along HW 175 represents an important step in the right direction. The results of this study demonstrate a major success for the existing wildlife passages along HW 175.
Driver safety is also an important consideration for small and medium-sized mammals.
Road mitigation is also a matter of halting biodiversity decline (as required by the internationally defined Aichi biodiversity targets set by the Convention on Biological Diversity, CBD) and of ensuring long-term maintenance of ecosystem services. Measures for road mitigation can be implemented effectively only if there is an awareness of the issue. Decision-makers and the general public alike should, therefore, be made more aware of the short-term and long-term ecological effects of roads and need to be informed about suitable mitigation measures. Many road agencies have “environmental sustainability” as one of their goals and the only way to achieve such goal is to establish collaborative links between transportation agencies and ecologists and to support long-term and credible scientific research (van der Ree et al. 2011).

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Monograph (Documentation)
Authors:Jaeger, Jochen A.G. and Spanowicz, Ariel and Bowman, Jeff and Clevenger, Anthony P.
Series Name:News Bulletins
Institution:Concordia University
Date:28 December 2017
Projects:
  • Suivi de l’utilisation et de l’efficacité des passages à faune le long de la route 175 pour les petits et moyens mammifères. Projet R709.1.
Funders:
  • Ministere des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l'Electrification des transports du Quebec (MTMDET)
Keywords:Road ecology, wildlife passages, fences, road mortality, mitigation measures, wildlife, mammals, biodiversity, connectivity, Reserve fauniques des Laurentides, Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier, wildlife underpasses, fence-end effect, radio telemetry, driver safety, roadkill
ID Code:983448
Deposited By: JOCHEN JAEGER
Deposited On:26 Jan 2018 03:01
Last Modified:26 Jan 2018 03:01
Additional Information:News Bulletins 1 - 7 and the final report are also available on Spectrum.

References:

Suivi de l’utilisation et de l’efficacité des passages à faune le long de la route 175 pour les petits et moyens mammifères. Projet R709.1. Rapport final pour le ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l’Électrification des transports du Québec. Concordia University, Montréal. October 2017. 494 pp. Available online at http://www.bv.transports.gouv.qc.ca/mono/1202547.pdf
Bélanger-Smith K (2015): Evaluating the effects of wildlife exclusion fencing on road mortality for medium-sized and small mammals along Quebec’s Route 175. MSc thesis. Concordia University, Department of Biology. Available online at spectrum.library.concordia.ca/979605/
Fahrig L, Rytwinski T (2009): Effects of roads on animal abundance: An empirical review and synthesis. Ecology and Society 14(1): 21.
Martinig AR, Bélanger-Smith K (2016): Factors influencing the discovery and use of wildlife passages for small fauna. J. Appl. Ecol. 53: 825-836.
Plante J (2016): Caractérisation des lieux de mortalité de la faune de petite et moyenne taille le long de la route 175, Québec. MSc thesis. Concordia University, Department of Geography, Planning and Environment. Available online at spectrum.library.concordia.ca/981532/
Plante J, Jaeger JAG, Desrochers A: How do landscape features, fences, and wildlife passages influence roadkill locations of small and medium-sized mammals? (article in preparation)
Rytwinski T, Fahrig L (2015): The impact of roads and traffic on terrestrial animal populations. In: van der Ree et al.: Handbook of Road Ecology. pp. 237-246.
Rytwinski T, Soanes K, Jaeger JAG, Fahrig L, Findlay CS, Houlahan J, van der Ree R, van der Grift EA (2016): How effective is road mitigation at reducing road-kill? A meta-analysis. PLoS ONE 11(11): e0166941.
van der Ree R, Jaeger JAG, van der Grift EA, Clevenger AP (2011): Effects of roads and traffic on wildlife populations and landscape function: Road ecology is moving towards larger scales. Ecology and Society 16(1): 48.
van der Ree R, Smith DJ, Grilo C (eds.) (2015): Handbook of Road Ecology. John Wiley & Sons, Oxford.

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