Advertisement

Assessing the effects of road type and position on the road on small mammal carcass persistence time

  • Rodrigo Augusto Lima SantosEmail author
  • Fernando Ascensão
Short Communication
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Road Ecology

Abstract

Roadkill estimates can be heavily biased due to variable carcass persistence time. If not adequately considered, this bias may lead to incorrect management actions. We designed an experiment aimed to provide an accurate assessment of carcass persistence time according to road type and position on the road along 114 km of roads (24 in dirt roads, 74 two-lane roads, and 16 in four-lane roads). We used two types of rodent of different body size to perform the experiment: mice (30 ± 8 g) were placed on the road shoulders and road lanes every 1000 m, and rats (400 ± 55 g) were placed only on road shoulders every 2000 m. Carcasses were monitored for up to five consecutive days. The persistence times of mice and rats were in general similar, with an estimated median time of 1 day. However, we found considerable differences according to road type and position on the road: the estimated median persistence time was substantially longer for carcasses on the four-lane roads, and longer on the road shoulders compared to the traffic lanes. Overall, we estimated an annual mortality of small animals to be higher than 100.000 individuals in Federal District, of which ca. 10% in dirt roads. Our results confirm that a great proportion of carcasses are likely to be undetected in roadkill surveys, particularly small body sized animals, and that such errors are also related to the type of road and the position of carcasses on the road. We highlight that the impact of dirt and two-lane roads on wildlife may be greatly underestimated.

Keywords

Carcass removal Scavengers Road type Position on road Road ecology 

Notes

Supplementary material

10344_2018_1246_MOESM1_ESM.xls (168 kb)
ESM 1 (XLS 168 kb)
10344_2018_1246_MOESM2_ESM.doc (33 kb)
ESM 2 (DOC 33 kb)
10344_2018_1246_MOESM3_ESM.docx (269 kb)
ESM 3 (DOCX 269 kb)

References

  1. Barrientos R, Martins RC, Ascensão F, D'Amico M, Moreira F, Borda-de-Água L (2018) A review of searcher efficiency and carcass persistence in infrastructure-driven mortality assessment studies. Biol Conserv 222:146–153.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.014 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Coelho AVP, Coelho IP, Teixeira FZ, Kindel A (2014) Siriema: road mortality software, V. 2.0. NERF, UFRGS, Porto AlegreGoogle Scholar
  3. Degregorio BA, Hancock TE, Kurz DJ, Yue S (2011) How quickly are road-killed snakes scavenged? Implications for underestimates of road mortality. J N C Acad Sci 127:184–188Google Scholar
  4. DNIT (2009) Departamento Nacional de Infraestrutura de Transportes - Diretoria De Infraestrutura Rodoviária website website, Brasil. 2009. Available: http://www.dnit.gov.br/. Accessed 20 June 2016
  5. Gerow K, Kline CN, Swann M, Pokorny ED (2010) Estimating annual vertebrate mortality on roads at saguaro National Park, Arizona. HWI 4:283–292Google Scholar
  6. Guinard É, Julliard R, Barbraud C (2012) Motorways and bird traffic casualties: carcasses surveys and scavenging bias. Biol Conserv 147:40–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Harrington DP, Fleming TR (1982) A class of rank test procedures for censored survival data. Biometrika 69:553–566CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. IBRAM (2015) Projeto Rodofauna. Instituto Brasília Ambiental – IBRAM, BrasíliaGoogle Scholar
  9. Planillo A, Kramer-Schadt S, Malo JE (2015) Transport infrastructure shapes foraging habitat in a raptor community. PLoS One 10:e118604CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Prosser P, Nattrass C, Prosser C (2008) Rate of removal of bird carcasses in arable farmland by predators and scavengers. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 71:601–608CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. R Core Team (2016) R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. ISBN 3–900051–07-0. http://www.R-project.org. (version 3.2.2). Accessed 20 June 2016
  12. Ratton P, Secco H, da Rosa CA (2014) Carcass permanency time and its implications to the roadkill data. Eur J Wildl Res:543–546Google Scholar
  13. Ribeiro JF, Walter BMT (2008) As principais fitofisionomias do bioma Cerrado. In: Cerrado: Ecologia e Flora. Embrapa, Brasília-DF, pp 151–212Google Scholar
  14. Santos SM, Carvalho F, Mira A (2011) How long do the dead survive on the road? Carcass persistence probability and implications for road-kill monitoring surveys. PLoS One 6:e25383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Santos RAL, Santos SM, Santos-Reis M, Picanço de Figueiredo A, Bager A, Aguiar LMS, Ascensão F (2016) Carcass persistence and detectability: reducing the uncertainty surrounding wildlife-vehicle collision surveys. PLoS One 11:e0165608.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0165608 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. Teixeira FZ, Coelho AVP, Esperandio IB, Kindel A (2013) Vertebrate road mortality estimates: effects of sampling methods and carcass removal. Biol Conserv 157:317–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Trombulak SC, Frissell CA (2000) Review of ecological effects of roads on terrestrial and aquatic communities. Conserv Biol 14:18–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. van der Ree R, Grilo C, Smith DJ (2015) Handbook of road ecology. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rodrigo Augusto Lima Santos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fernando Ascensão
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.IBRAM - Instituto Brasília AmbientalBrasíliaBrazil
  2. 2.Infraestruturas de Portugal Biodiversity Chair, CIBIO/InBio, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos GenéticosUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.CEABN/InBio, Centro de Ecologia Aplicada “Professor Baeta Neves,” Instituto Superior de AgronomiaUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal

Personalised recommendations