Date of Award:

2005

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Natural Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Wildlife Biology

Advisor/Chair:

John A. Bissonette

Abstract

In the US, the roaded landscape has had serious ecological effects. We studied wildlife-vehicle collisions occurring on the 248 state routes in Utah from 1992 to 2002. We tracked trends and patterns in deer-vehicle collisions, evaluated all routes for frequency of deer kills, and identified "hotspots" ( segments of road with high concentrations of collisions per mile). We found pronounced patterns: e.g., 61.15% of all collisions occurred on only 10 routes. We studied the effects of posted speed limit and annual average daily traffic flow and found that no relationship existed between traffic volume and/or posted speed limit and the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions that occurred. We put the economic costs associated with wildlife vehicle collisions into a public safety perspective and confirmed that associated costs, damage, injuries, and loss of resources are significant aspects ofDVCs that require attention and justify mitigation.

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