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Effects of Interstate Highway Fencing on White-Tailed Deer Activity

George A. Feldhamer, J. Edward Gates, Dan M. Harman, Andre J. Loranger and Kenneth R. Dixon
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 50, No. 3 (Jul., 1986), pp. 497-503
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3801112
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3801112
Page Count: 7
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Effects of Interstate Highway Fencing on White-Tailed Deer Activity
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Abstract

Locations of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) along a 41.4-km section of Interstate 84 (I-84) right-of-way in Pike County, Pennsylvania, were determined by radio telemetry and spotlight surveys. Bucks crossed roads more often (P < 0.05) than does. Two of 22 radio-collared deer were killed by vehicles during the study period. Hourly telemetry fixes showed that deer movements were not oriented in any general pattern relative to a highway. During 36 spotlight surveys 2,045 deer sightings were made, of which 1,687 were on the I-84 right-of-way. More deer were on the right-of-way in fall than summer. Most of the 100 road-kills recorded during the study occurred in fall and winter. A 2.7-m deer-proof fence reduced the number of deer on the right-of-way compared to an alternative 2.2-m (Type 4) fence, but it was not effective in reducing the number of road-kills. There was no significant relationship (P > 0.05) between road-kills and highway direction, habitat, topography, or fence placement. However, deer were killed more often ≤0.48 km of an interchange. Management efforts to reduce the incidence of road-killed deer should address increasing the effectiveness of deer fence and decreasing the incentive for deer to enter the right-of-way.

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