Abstract

Title:  A Deer Guard to Prevent Access to Roadways: Part 11.
Author(s): Roel R. Lopez and Nova J. Silvy - Texas A&M University and Phil Frank - National Key Deer Refuge
Year: 2002
Abstract: For a number of years, state and federal agencies have attempted to address Key deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium) highway mortality on Big Pine Key, Florida. Highway losses account for nearly half of all deer mortality, with the majority of these occurring on US-1, the only highway linking the Keys to the mainland. If deer are to survive in a natural, self-sustaining population, methods to minimize road mortality should be addressed. A proposed alternative is the building of one or more deer underpasses, coupled with fences, to prevent deer access along undeveloped segments of US-1. Problems may occur at access roads where deer could possibly enter the highway. If trapped within these barriers, deer would be more susceptible to being killed on the roadway. Deer guards were proposed to solve this problem. There is little information, however, on the effectiveness of deer guards. A deer guard design (bridge grate) was tested in this study and results suggest the deer guard prevented the majority (>99%) of Key deer from reaching the feeding area. Following all the trials, only 1 adult female successfully crossed the guard in an 8 week period. The bridge grating material used in this study appeared to limit Key deer movement, however, it is recommended additional testing be conducted prior to final recommendations.

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