Island biogeography and ungulate-vehicle collisions. Planning considerations for roads.

Island biogeography and ungulate-vehicle collisions. Planning considerations for roads.
Víctor J. Colino-Rabanal

Last modified: 2014-09-01

Abstract

Much effort research has been focused on the study of the variables involved in roadkill occurrence at local scale. However, less knowledge has been gained about the spatial distribution of roadkills at regional scales. Road planning and strategic environmental assessment require of this knowledge. Many parts of Europe are strongly fragmented and the detrimental effects of habitat fragmentation are well documented for those species that require forest. For this reason, it would be interesting to study how forest fragmentation affects roadkill spatial distribution.

This study assesses the pattern of ungulate-vehicle collision (UVC) occurrence of three species, the wild boar Sus scrofa, the roe deer Capreolus capreolus and the red deer Cervus elaphus in forest fragments located in agricultural landscapes of central Spain with a coarse-grained pattern of fragmentation (< 20% forest cover in the landscape). Forest remnants are separated by an inhospitable matrix of cereal crops which dominates the landscape. UVC occurrence in forest fragments was studied in relation to: forest size, isolation and vegetation structure. Results indicated a significant effect of fragment size on UVC occurrence and an effect of isolation.

Keywords

island theory, road planning, roadkills