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The Effects of Roads on Populations of Small Mammals

D. J. Oxley, M. B. Fenton and G. R. Carmody
Journal of Applied Ecology
Vol. 11, No. 1 (Apr., 1974), pp. 51-59
DOI: 10.2307/2402004
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2402004
Page Count: 9
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The Effects of Roads on Populations of Small Mammals
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Abstract

(1) Trapping, observation and road mortality studies indicated that small forest mammals (e.g. Tamias striatus, Sciurus carolinensis, and Peromyscus leucopus-Rodentia) were reluctant to venture on to road surfaces where the distance between forest margins exceeded 20 m. (2) Wider roads were crossed almost exclusively by medium-sized mammals such as Marmota monax, Erethizon dorsatum (Rodentia), Procyon lotor and Mephitis mephitis (Carnivora). (3) Road mortality increased with increasing road improvement for medium-sized mammals and was highest when traffic density was high and young were emerging. (4) A four-lane divided highway may be as effective a barrier to the dispersal of small forest mammals as a body of fresh water twice as wide.

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