Tropical Conservation Science
Roads are a major cause of wildlife mortality by animal-vehicle-collisions (AVCs). We monitored the patterns and frequency of AVCs on two sections of a major highway in Northern Tanzania and compared these patterns to the knowledge and perceptions of drivers who frequently use the roads. While actual field survey showed that more birds were killed by AVCs, mammals were perceived by the drivers to be the most common AVC. Drivers were indifferent to whether AVCs were a major problem on the road, and 67% strongly felt that AVCs were mainly accidental, either due to high vehicle speed or poor visibility at night. There was a negative correlation between the likelihood of a species being hit by vehicles and its average body mass. Only 35% of drivers said they had attended an educational program related to the impact of roads on wildlife. This study highlights a need for collaborative efforts between the wildlife conservation and road departments to educate road users on the importance of driving responsibly and exercising due care for wildlife and human safety. This should be coupled with effective mitigation measures to reduce the extent of AVCs.
Kioko, J., Kiffner, C., Phillips, P., Patterson-Abrolat, C., Collinson, W., & Katers, S. (2015). Driver knowledge and attitudes on animal vehicle collisions in Northern Tanzania. Tropical Conservation Science, 8(2), 352-366.