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Effects of Building a Highway and Wildlife Crossings in a Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) Habitat in Hungary

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Author(s): BALLÓK, Zsuzsa | NÁHLIK, András | TARI, Tamás

Journal: Acta Silvatica & Lignaria Hungarica
ISSN 1786-691X

Volume: 6;
Start page: 67;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Wildlife crossing structure / red deer | Cervus elaphus | linear constructions | fragmentation | barrier effect

ABSTRACT
We examined how the movement of red deer (Cervus elaphus) was modified in an areathat had a new fenced off highway built across it. The first step was the collection of data from thetrack marked for construction. We continued collecting data on wildlife crossings after theconstruction of the highway and the completion of the fences. After the completion of the highway, itwas observed that only 5.9% of the original deer track counts remained, spread across the crossings.After the construction was finished, the wider crossing structures were used more often by deer forcrossing to the other side of the highway than the smaller ones. During construction of the highway, anumber of animals chose to walk tens of kilometres to get around the construction site instead of usingthe crossings. An existing highway, or a highway under construction not only changes the frequencyof deer crossings, but affects their distribution as well.
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