Collisions between trains and sika deer (Cervus nippon) cause various problems involving animal and humans safety, as well as economic cost. A better understanding of deer crossing railway lines and deer–train accidents is necessary to develop effective mitigation measures. We investigated the collisions among habitat selection, railway-line crossing movement, and deer–train collisions. We predicted that the risk of deer–train collisions would increase with increasing probability of deer crossing railway lines, which is related to habitat selection surrounding in those areas. Deer stayed in forests to rest during the day and moved to grasslands or rice paddy fields to forage at night. Deer made exploratory crossings of rail lines and returned to the main side in a short time. The probability of crossing had negative effects on the risk of deer–train collisions because of trains’ high visibility to deer. The risk of deer–train accidents increased with increasing forest cover, indicating that deer density might be the main factor causing deer–train collisions. Our study suggests that integrated studies on deer habitat selection, movement, and deer–train collisions are useful for wildlife management and transportation agencies to plan mitigation measures. The reduction of deer density within high-accident risk areas will reduce collisions.
Soga, Akinao; Hamasaki, Shin-ichiro; Yokoyama, Noriko; Sakai, Toshiyuki; and Kaji, Koichi
"Relationship Between Spatial Distribution of Sika Deer–Train Collisions and Sika Deer Movement in Japan,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 9
, Article 9.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol9/iss2/9