Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Are Roadkill Hotspots in the Cerrado Equal Among Groups of Vertebrates?


Understand the spatial distribution of wildlife roadkill is necessary to design mitigation measures minimizing damage to the fauna and the human population. Thus, we aimed to analyze the spatial distribution of wildlife roadkill in the Brazilian savanna (“Cerrado”) to test whether roadkill hotspots match between the studied animal groups. We collected data of wildlife roadkill over a year in the southwest region of the state of Goiás, Brazil. To understand the distribution of roadkill on highways and to identify the aggregation hotspots, we used the modified two-dimensional Ripley K test and the two-dimensional hotspot identification analysis. We detected that birds and mammals have different aggregation points. These points may vary when the two groups are analyzed together or when species with greater abundance are removed from the analyses. Hence, we concluded that using generalist approaches including several species, are not enough, and can lead to erroneous conclusions. Therefore, it is necessary that the analyses be done in groups.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3


  1. Alvares CA, Stape JL, Sentelhas PC et al. (2013) Köppen’s climate classification map for Brazil. Meteorol Z 22:711–728. https://doi.org/10.1127/0941-2948/2013/0507

  2. Antrop M (2000) Background concepts for integrated landscape analysis. Agric Ecosyst Environ 77:17–28

  3. Bager A, Piedras SRN, Martin TS, Hóbus Q (2007) Fauna Selvagem e Atropelamento-Diagnóstico do Conhecimento Brasileiro. In: Bager A (ed) Áreas Protegidas: Repensando as escalas de atuação. Armazém Digital, Porto Alegre, p 49–62

  4. Bager A, Rosa C (2010) Priority ranking of road sites for mitigating wildlife roadkill. Biota Neotrop 10:2–7

  5. Bager A, Fontoura V (2012) Ecologia de estradas no Brasil–Contexto histórico e perspectivas futuras. In: Bager A (ed) Ecologia de estradas: tendências e pesquisas. 1st edn. Editora UFLA, Lavras, Minas Gerais, p 13–34

  6. Bager A (2013) Projeto Malha. Manual para equipe de campo. Centro Brasileiro de Estudos em Ecologia de Estradas-UFLA, Lavras, Minas Gerais

  7. Bager A, Fontoura V (2013) Evaluation of the effectiveness of a wildlife roadkill mitigation system in wetland habitat. Ecol Eng 53:31–38. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2013.01.006

  8. Bager A, Borghi CE, Secco H (2015) The influence of economics, politics and environment on road ecology in South America. In: van der Ree R, Smith DJ, Grilo C (ed) Handbook of road ecology. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118568170.ch50

  9. Beaudry F, Demaynadier PG, Hunter Jr ML (2010) Identifying hot moments in road-mortality risk for freshwater turtles. J Wildl Manag 74:152–159. https://doi.org/10.2193/2008-370

  10. Bonet B, Cunha H (2012) Medidas preventivas aos atropelamentos de fauna em rodovias. DNIT, Monitoramento e Mitigação de Atropelamento de Fauna. Coleção Estrada Verde, Brasília, p 8–13

  11. Bueno C, Sousa COM, Freitas SR (2015) Habitat or matrix: which is more relevant to predict road-kill of vertebrates? Braz J Biol 75:228–238. https://doi.org/10.1590/1519-6984.12614

  12. Cáceres NC, Casella J, Goulart CDS (2012) Variação espacial e sazonal de atropelamentos de mamíferos no Bioma Cerrado, Rodovia BR 262, Sudoeste do Brasil. Mastozoología Neotrop 19:21–23

  13. Canal D, Camacho C, Martín B et al. (2018) Magnitude, composition and spatiotemporal patterns of vertebrate roadkill at regional scales: a study in southern Spain. Anim Biodivers Conserv 41.2:281–300

  14. Canal D, Camacho C, Martín B et al. (2019) Fine-scale determinants of vertebrate roadkills across a biodiversity hotspot in Southern Spain. Biodivers Conserv 28:32–39. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-019-01817-5

  15. Clevenger AP, Chruszcz B, Gunson KE (2003) Spatial patterns and factors influencing small vertebrate fauna road-kill aggregations. Biol Conserv 109:15–26

  16. Clevenger AP, Waltho N (2005) Performance indices to identify attributes of highway crossing structures facilitating movement of large mammals. Biol Conserv 121:453–464. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2004.04.025

  17. Coelho IP, Kindel A, Coelho AVP (2011) SIRIEMA. Spatial Evaluation of Road Mortality Software. User’s Guide. 22

  18. Coelho IP, Kindel A, Coelho AVP (2008) Roadkills of vertebrate species on two highways through the Atlantic Forest Biosphere Reserve, southern Brazil. Eur J Wildl Res 54:689–699. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-008-0197-4

  19. Coelho IP, Teixeira FZ, Colombo P et al. (2012) Anuran road-kills neighboring a peri-urban reserve in the Atlantic Forest, Brazil. J Environ Manag 112:17–26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.07.004

  20. Coffin AW (2007) From roadkill to road ecology: a review of the ecological effects of roads. J Transp Geogr 15:396–406. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2006.11.006

  21. Collinson WJ, Marneweck C, Davies-Mostert HT (2019) Protecting the protected: reducing wildlife roadkill in protected areas. Anim Conserv 22:396–403. https://doi.org/10.1111/acv.12481

  22. Correa VHC, Ramos P (2010) A Precariedade do Transporte Rodoviário Brasileiro para o Escoamento da Produção de Soja do Centro-Oeste: situação e perspectivas. Rev Econ e Socio Rural 48:447–472

  23. Dixon PM (2002) Ripley’s K function. Environmetrics 3:1796–1803. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470057339.var046

  24. Fabrizio M, Di Febbraro M, D’Amico M et al. (2019) Eur J Wildl Res 65:7. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-018-1241-7

  25. Fischer W, Godoi RF, Conceição A, Filho P (2014) Roadkill records of reptiles and birds in Cerrado and Pantanal landscapes. Check List. https://doi.org/10.15560/14.5.845

  26. Ford AT, Clevenger AP, Huijser MP, Dibb A (2011) Planning and prioritization strategies for phased highway mitigation using wildlife-vehicle collision data. Wildl Biol 17:253–265. https://doi.org/10.2981/09-051

  27. Forman RTT, Alexander LE (1998) Roads and their major ecological effects. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 29:207–231

  28. González-Gallina A, Benítez-Badillo G, Rojas-Soto OR et al. (2013) The small, the forgotten and the dead: highway impact on vertebrates and its implications for mitigation strategies. Biodivers Conserv 22:325–342. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-012-0396-x

  29. Garrah E, Danby RK, Eberhardt E et al. (2015) Hot spots and hot times: wildlife road mortality in a regional conservation corridor. Environ Manag 56:874–889. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-015-0566-1

  30. Girardet X, Conruyt-Rogeon G, Foltête JC (2015) Does regional landscape connectivity influence the location of roe deer roadkill hotspots? Eur J Wildl Res 61:731. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-015-0950-4

  31. Glista DJ, Devault TL, Dewoody JA (2009) A review of mitigation measures for reducing wildlife mortality on roadways. Landsc Urban Plan 91:1–7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2008.11.001

  32. Grilo C, Bissonette JA, Santos-Reis M (2009) Spatial-temporal patterns in Mediterranean carnivore road casualties: consequences for mitigation. Biol Conserv 142:301–313. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2008.10.026

  33. Ha H, Shilling F (2018) Modelling potential wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVC) locations using environmental factors and human population density: A case-study from 3 state highways in Central California. Ecol Inform 43:212–221. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoinf.2017.10.005

  34. Jaeger JAG, Bowman J, Brennan J et al. (2005) Predicting when animal populations are at risk from roads: an interactive model of road avoidance behavior. Int J Ecol Model Syst Ecol 185:329–348. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2004.12.015

  35. Klink CA, Moreira AG (2002) Past and Current Human Occupation, and Land Use. In: Oliveira PS, Marquis R (eds) The Cerrados of Brazil - Ecology and Natural History of a Neotropical Savanna. University Press, New York, p 69–90

  36. Klink CA, Machado RB (2005) Conservação do Cerrado brasileiro. Megadiversidade 1:147–155

  37. Kreling SES, Gaynor KM, Coon CAC (2019) Roadkill distribution at the wildland-urban interface. Jour Wild Mgmt 83:1427–1436. https://doi.org/10.1002/jwmg.21692

  38. Langbein J, Putman R, Pokorny B (2011) Traffic collisions involving deer and other ungulates in Europe and available measures for mitigation. In: Putman R, Apollonio M, Andersen R (eds) Ungulate management in Europe: problems and practices. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p 215–259. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511974137.009

  39. Laurance WF, Goosem M, Laurance SGW (2009) Impacts of roads and linear clearings on tropical forests. Trends Ecol Evol 24:659–669. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2009.06.009

  40. Lester D (2015) Effective wildlife roadkill mitigation. J Traffic Transp Eng 3:42–51. https://doi.org/10.17265/2328-2142/2015.01.005

  41. Lima Santos RA, Ascensão F, Ribeiro ML et al. (2017) Assessing the consistency of hotspot and hot-moment patterns of wildlife road mortality over time. Perspect Ecol Conserv 15:56–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecon.2017.03.003

  42. Marçal ARS, Borges JS, Gomes JA, Pinto Da Costa JF (2005) Land cover update by supervised classification of segmented ASTER images. Int J Remote Sens 26:1347–1362. https://doi.org/10.1080/01431160412331291233

  43. Malo JE, Suárez F, Díez A (2004) Can we mitigate animal–vehicle accidents using predictive models? J Appl Ecol 41:701–710. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0021-8901.2004.00929.x

  44. Mata C, Hervás I, Herranz J et al. (2008) Are motorway wildlife passages worth building? Vertebrate use of road-crossing structures on a Spanish motorway. J Environ Manag 88:407–415. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2007.03.014

  45. McGarigal K, Cushman SA, Ene E (2012) FRAGSTATS v4: Spatial Pattern Analysis Program for Categorical and Continuous Maps

  46. Miranda JES, Umetsu RK, Melo FR et al. (2017) Roadkill in the Brazilian cerrado savanna: Comparing five highways in southwestern Goiás. Oecologia Aust 21:337–349. https://doi.org/10.4257/oeco.2017.2103.10

  47. Moshe I, Uri S, Ido I (2002) Characterization of road accidents in Israel involving large mammals. Isr J Zool 48(3):197–206. https://doi.org/10.1560/XGJB-VR67-RFEQ-N27A

  48. Ng SJ, Dole JW, Sauvajot RM et al. (2004) Use of highway undercrossings by wildlife in southern California. Biol Conserv 115:499–507. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3207(03)00166-6

  49. Omena Jr R, Pantoja-Lima J, Santos ALW et al. (2012) Characterization of the vertebrate fauna hit on roadway br 174, Amazonas, Brazil. Rev Colomb Ciência Anim 4:291–307

  50. Pinto FAS, Clevenger AP, Grilo C (2020) Effects of roads on terrestrial vertebrate species in Latin America. Envir Impact Assess Rev 81:106337. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eiar.2019.106337

  51. Polícia Rodoviária Federal (2014) Relatório de acidentes da Polícia Rodoviária Federal. https://www.prf.gov.br/portal/policiamento-e-fiscalizacao/estatisticas. Accessed 7 Nov 2015

  52. Rosa CA, Cardoso TR, Teixeira FZ, Bager A (2012) Atropelamento de fauna selvagem: amostragem e análise de dados em ecologia de estradas. In: Bager A(ed) Ecologia de estradas: tendências e pesquisas, 1st edn. Editora UFLA, Lavras, Minas Gerais, p 79–100

  53. Rytwinski T, Soanes K, Jaeger JAG, Fahrig L, Findlay CS et al. (2016) How effective is road mitigation at reducing road-kill? A meta-analysis. PLOS ONE 11(11):e0166941. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0166941

  54. Sáenz-de-Santa-María A, Tellería JL (2015) Wildlife-vehicle collisions in Spain. Eur J Wildl Res 61:399–406. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-015-0907-7

  55. Seiler A (2005) Predicting locations of moose–vehicle collisions in Sweden. J Appl Ecol 42:371–382. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2005.01013.x

  56. Silva RM, da, Borba CHO, Leão VP, de C, Mineo MF (2011) O impacto das rodovias sobre a fauna de vertebrados silvestres no Cerrado mineiro. Enciclopédia Biosf 7:1–9

  57. Souza JL, Anacleto TCS (2012) Levantamento de mamíferos atropelados na rodovia BR-158, estado de Mato Grosso, Brasil. In: Bager A (ed) Ecologia de estradas: tendências e pesquisas. Editora UFLA, Lavras, Minas Gerais, p 139–152

  58. Teixeira FZ, Coelho IP, Esperandio IB et al. (2013) Are road-kill hotspots coincident among different vertebrate groups? Oecologia Aust 17:36–47. https://doi.org/10.4257/oeco.2013.1701.04

  59. Trombulak SC, Frissell CA (2000) Review of ecological effects of roads on terrestrial and aquatic communities. Conserv Biol 14:18–30

  60. Valero E, Picos J, Xana Á (2015) Road and traffic factors correlated to wildlife–vehicle collisions in Galicia (Spain). Wildl Res 42:25–34

  61. van der Ree R, Jaeger JAG, van der Grift EA, Clevenger AP (2011) Effects of roads and traffic on wildlife populations and landscape function: road ecology is moving toward larger scales. Ecol Soc 16:48. 48

  62. Wilkins DC, Kockelman KM, Nan J (2019) Animal-vehicle collisions in Texas: how to protect travelers and animals on roadways. Accid Anal Prev 131:157–170. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2019.05.030

Download references


We thank Suelem Martini Assmann, Gabriel Silva, and other students of the Federal University of Goiás (UFG) who assisted us in the study. We also thank the Foundation for Research Support of the State of Goiás (FAPEG) for the financial support (process 201210267001062, FAPEG Notice # 005/12), the UFG for providing logistic support, on behalf of Professor Alessandro Martins (director of Jataí Regional), the Mato Grosso State University (UNEMAT), and the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES).


This study was funded by Foundation for Research Support of the State of Goiás (FAPEG) -process 201210267001062, FAPEG Notice # 005/12.

Author information

Correspondence to Jefferson Eduardo Silveira Miranda.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Silveira Miranda, J.E., de Melo, F.R. & Keichi Umetsu, R. Are Roadkill Hotspots in the Cerrado Equal Among Groups of Vertebrates?. Environmental Management (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-020-01263-y

Download citation


  • Road ecology
  • Biodiversity
  • Local extinction
  • Savanna
  • Landscape