Road incidents with participation of forest animals

key words: road collisions, forest animals, mortality

Summary:

On Polish roads the problem of mortality of forest animals is more and more often noticeable. As a result of continuous development and modernization of roads in our country accompanying investments should be held, which aim is to minimize the amount of road incidents with participation of forest animals. The main cause of animals' mortality on roads is i.a. intersecting their migration cor-ridors by the road infrastructure.
The aim of this article is to analyze the structure of road incidents with par-ticipation of forest animals.
According to data collected concerning 2010 the Police reported 16 963 road incidents with participation of forest animals, including 157 accidents, 16 806 collisions, 6 persons killed and 208 injured. These are the losses seen from the environmental and the economic point of view. As results from the analysis carried out, national and voivodship roads, on which the great part of national and local vehicular traffic takes place, pose the greatest danger to forest animals. The least road incidents with participation of forest animals occur on motorways, which are in most cases fenced.
The largest amount of road incidents with participation of forest animals occurred on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. It results from the increased vehicu-lar traffic caused by weekend trips. During the year the increased number of road incidents can be reported in April, May, October and November, which was caused by the increased migration of forest animals within the procreation season, looking for new territories, which provide proper survival conditions and migra-tions of young individuals.
Within 24 hours the increased participation of forest animals in road inci-dents could be observed at morning hours, between 6:00 and 7:59 and in the late afternoon and in the evening between 16:00 and 23:59. The cause of this twenty-four-hour increases of road incidents with participation of forest animals were their morning returns to the places of day shelter and the evening migrations in order to look for feeding grounds.
Between 2001 and 2010 the significant increase of road incidents with par-ticipation of forest animals reported by the police was observed. The number of these road incidents grew from 8 423 (in 2001) to 16 962 (in 2008). It was caused i.a. by the increased amount of cars on roads.
As results from the data concerning reported road incidents with participa-tion of forest animals, the roe deer and the wild boar are the species, which are to the largest degree afflicted by the mortality on roads. The information gained as the result of the field research confirms this dependence and adds to this group also the red deer.
In order to minimize the rate of road incidents with participation of forest animals different means are applied, i.a.: building fauna passages (under and over roads), placing information boards, setting speed limits, applying active traf-fic signs, putting fences along fast traffic trunk roads, creating several-meter-wide belts with no trees and bushes on both sides of roads.

 

 

Citation:

Czerniak A., Tyburski . 2011. Road incidents with participation of forest animals. Infrastruktura i Ekologia Terenów Wiejskich. Nr 2011/ 02