Authors: TOMAS KUSTA, MICHAELA HOLA, ZDENEK KEKEN, MILOS JEZEK, TOMAS ZIKA, VLASTIMIL HART
Abstract: Traffic-related mortality of free-ranging animals is among the most commonly observed human-wildlife conflicts. These conflicts pose serious threats to human safety as well as having great economic consequences. Although considerable attention has been paid to the role of roads in affecting free-ranging animals, the effects of railways have been less studied. Our study provides initial insights into the spatial and temporal variability of the roe deer-train collisions at 4 selected railway sections in the Czech Republic. Using data on 69 roe deer-train collisions collected during 2009, we tested the effects of railway section length, train frequency, relative abundance of roe deer, and time of year (by month) on collision probability. The number of roe deer-train collisions was influenced by train frequency (i.e. the higher the number of trains passing through individual study sections, the higher the number of collisions) and the time of the year (i.e. the highest number of collisions occurred in winter, particularly in February). Future research efforts should focus on describing roe deer behavior and movement patterns along the railways as well as the mortality factors related to the accidents. Such findings will help to identify hotspots of future accidents and to design suitable mitigation measures.
Keywords: Animal-train collisions, traffic mortality, Czech Republic
Full Text: PDF