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Research article2015Peer reviewed

Avoidance of high traffic levels results in lower risk of wild boar-vehicle accidents

Thurfjell, Henrik; Spong, Göran; Olsson, Mattias; Ericsson, Göran


Traffic accidents between cars and wildlife cause loss of lives, suffering and economic loss. Many studies have quantified the characteristics of accident sites, but factors affecting wildlife behaviour near roads and traffic are less explored. Hence, the mechanisms affecting animal movement and collision risks are poorly understood. Previous work suggests that roads and traffic may alter the behaviour of many animals, with temporal and spatial effects on daily movements, migration patterns and land cover selection. Here we analyze data from GPS-collared female wild boar (Sus scrofa) in Sweden to study factors affecting road crossings and traffic accidents involving wild boar. Our results show that wild boar cross roads in habitats mainly used for foraging. Avoidance of traffic results in few accidents at high traffic levels, causing most accidents to occur at intermediate traffic levels. A conclusion from this study is that wild boar appears to be able to make behavioural adjustments that reduce the risk of close vehicle encounters. Applications of these results for mitigating accidents between wild boar and vehicles involve changes in behavioural patterns of drivers and changes in farming practices close to accident prone roads. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Collisions; Land cover; Movement; Roads; Road ecology; Wildlife road-crossings

Published in

Landscape and Urban Planning
2015, Volume: 133, pages: 98-104