First results of the monitoring activities

The monitoring of wildlife mortality on the four selected road segments in each Province is proceeding as planned, for a total road length of 257 km.

During the last technical meeting on 15 November we had the possibility to assess the progress of these activities and discuss rising problems.

Each selected road segmenthas been described in detail with regard to the main environmental variables as well as to potential barriers for wildlife. The collected information is stored in specific shape files.

This analysis is crucial in order to identify the areas at highest risk of wildlife collisions with traffic, where the prevention tools will be installed.

The following map is an example of the description of the road tracks, in the Province of Grosseto.

 

 

Also the collection of data about the wildlife mortality along the roads continues. Following is an sample of the information gathered in the Province of Siena on 40 km of monitored roads.

In the period from July to October 2013 a total of 111 dead vertebrates were found in 32 sampling sessions. The average of dead animals found was of 25,3 per road track, with an average of 3,2 per monitoring day.

 

 

A significant finding is that in the Province of Pesaro Urbino from April through September 54 dead Roe deer have been found in the monitored road tracks. In this area the data collection is very precise since the gathered information can be integrated with the information gathered by the local Wildlife Rescue Centre.

In all the Provinces an “information network” has been implemented by informing the local authorities about the project and involving them in our activities. This shall help to promote data collection also beyond the specific monitoring sessions.

This action foresees also the monitoring of traffic intensity on the identified road tracks. For this reason specific traffic monitoring instruments are set up at regular intervals, measuring the number and types of vehicles on the roads. The next picture shows the installation of this instrument in the Province of Perugia.

 

 

Finally, in all the Provinces the presence of wildlifeis monitored on 1 km transects on both sides of the selected road tracks.This is done both by collecting existing literature and through specific field surveillance. In particular, camera traps are used to estimate the use of certain road crossing spots. Generally we use two camera traps for each road track, which are checked each 15-30 days. The traps are moved according to the specific monitoring requirements.

In the Province of Terni this has allowed to obtain extremely interesting information. Besides the wild ungulates and small mammals the presence of wolves has been registered, a species of high conservation value that is still sporadically observed in that area.

Click here to see the spot.

Last modified on Thursday, 10 April 2014 12:09