Animal Detection Systems: Reliability, Effectiveness and other Considerations for Design, Implementation and Maintenance Webinar
- Animal Detection Systems: Reliability, Effectiveness and other Considerations for Design, Implementation and Maintenance
Dr. Marcel Huijser
- Western Transportation Institute
- Montana State University
Wildlife warning signs are among the most frequently used mitigation measures aimed at reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVC). Road agencies have been using these signs for many decades and their use has become standard practice in most parts of the world. However, standard and enhanced warning signs are unlikely to be effective in reducing collisions. Their widespread use may be primarily because of engrained practices, their relatively low cost, a desire to inform the public about the impact of WVC on human safety and nature conservation, and possible litigation concerns; rather than a proven substantial reduction in these types of collisions. Warning signs that are place and time specific, including animal detection systems, can be effective in reducing collisions with large mammals (up to nearly 100%). However, animal detection systems are far more variable in their effectiveness in reducing collisions (33-100% reduction) than wildlife fencing in combination with wildlife underpasses and overpasses (80-100% reduction when applied over long road sections). In addition, animal detection system projects often suffer from technical (reliability, robustness) and management difficulties (insufficient funds for R&D, too visible to public and politicians during R&D phase). This presentation will provide a summary of considerations for the design, implementation, and maintenance of animal detection systems.
Marcel Huijser received his M.S. in population ecology (1992) and his Ph.D. in road ecology (2000) at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. He studied plant-herbivore interactions in wetlands (1992-1995), hedgehog traffic victims and mitigation strategies (1995-1999), and multifunctional land use issues (1999-2002) in The Netherlands. Marcel has been conducting road ecology research for the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University (USA) since 2002. Marcel also was a visiting professor to teach a road ecology course and advise students at the University of São Paulo, Brazil (ESALQ, Piracicaba campus) for part of 2014.