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Piao Z.,Changbai Mountain Academy of science of Jilin Province | Jin Y.,CAS Shenyang Institute of Applied Ecology | Li S.,CAS Shenyang Institute of Applied Ecology | Wang C.,Changbai Mountain Academy of science of Jilin Province | And 4 more authors.
Acta Theriologica Sinica | Year: 2012

Mammal mortality and related factors such as traffic volume and vehicle speed, were investigated monthly based on the two main highways in the Changbai Mountain Nature Reserve during three years (2007-2009). Our results showed that: (1) there were at least 14 mammal species killed on the highways, representing at least 27% of mammal species occurring in this nature reserve, with three rodent species(Myodes rufocanus, Tamias sibiricus and Apodemus peninsulae) as the main species; (2) the intensity of mammal mortality was 2.57±0.53 individuals/10 km, and the mortality rate of nocturnal mammals accounted for 69.8% of the total; (3) mammal mortality was highly related to hourly traffic volume and accounts for 69.4% for 1-40 vehicles per hour traffic volume, with the highest for 30-40 hourly traffic volume; and (4) mammal monthly mortality was highly correlated with traffic volume and vehicle speed each month, with the highest mortality in September. According to the activities and habitats of mammal species, most of these mammals were killed during early morning, at dusk or at night. It is likely that vehicle lighting at night, along with high speed and high traffic volume, may cause large trouble for the animals, and thus lead to high mortality of these animals. Therefore, we suggest that in order to reduce mammal mortality on the highways, it is necessary to control the timing of traffic and reduce traffic volume and vehicle speed in relation to animal activities.

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