The road network in the U.S. is immense, and vehicle use has expanded to incredible proportions since the early 1900s. While the use of this network has proven useful to people, roads and vehicles cause severe environmental degradation. An important part of this degradation is direct mortality of wildlife due to road-kill, with some estimates of vertebrate fatalities reaching the hundreds of millions each year in the U.S. alone. Until the last few decades, little attention was given to the problem of road-kill. A few recent studies have conducted statistical and GIS analyses to identify and predict locations of road-kill in order to strategically implement mitigation strategies. These road-kill studies focused on few species and/or limited study areas.
In the U.S., suburban areas have been expanding in recent years, but have been largely absent from the research on road-kill. This study investigates road-kill of the small vertebrate community on the fringe of the St. Louis metropolitan area and identifies significant land use/land cover attributes surrounding road-kill and hotspot locations using logistic regression models and hotspot analyses. The findings clearly show that rates of road-kill in this area are substantial and worthy of mitigation. Locations were identified for reducing overall rates of road-kill, such as areas nearer to forest fragments and farther from cultivated lands that are surrounded by greater amounts of open and low intensity developed areas and lesser amounts of cultivated lands. If mitigation were targeted in locations identified in this study, it could lead to reductions of thousands of road-kills each year.
|Commitee:||Hildebrandt, Mark, Pearson, Randall, Zhou, Bin|
|School:||Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||MAI 52/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Wildlife Conservation, Geography, Natural Resource Management|
|Keywords:||Biogeography, Road ecology, Road-kill|
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