Road kills are a major cause of mortality for many wildlife species worldwide. In Brazil, although few studies have addressed this issue, it is known that the impact on some species is very large. The damage caused to faunal populations is even more worrying when the road kills occur around protected areas, including National Parks, Ecological Stations and Biological Reserves. A large part of protected areas may be separated and isolated by roads and in many places the problem of road kills is serious and has worried managers of the protected areas.
The carnivores are among the mammals, who suffer most from road kill. It is likely that the susceptibility of carnivores is a result of their tendency to range over large areas and behaviour of feeding on the fresh carcasses of other animals that were killed on roads, therefore also becoming vulnerable to perish in the same way.
In the Águas Emendadas Ecological Station (ESECAE), a significant number of animals die annually on the roads. Preliminary studies showed that on average 4.5 maned wolves are killed each year within the station limits, a high number considering a population size of 10 adult individuals. To better evaluate the impacts of roads in protected areas and inform proposed mitigation actions it is imperative that periodic monitoring is done of these roads, quantifying the number of dead animals, the species most affected, and points of highest incidence of accidents.
This project aims to acquire information, plan and implement actions that reduce the number of road kills of wildlife in the area of influence of the ESECAE. For this, we intend to achieve the following objectives:
- determine which animal species are run over on the roads bordering the ESECAE;
- estimate the number of animals killed each year on these roads, to identify accident hotspots (where there are more road kill animals);
- propose management strategies and actions that can minimize losses from road kills on the roads bordering the ESECAE;
- act with the appropriate authorities for effective mitigation measures;
- evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation measures that may be deployed.