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Study of the landscape structures among roadkill hotspots: A case study of Tucheng and Sanxia District
roadkill,roadkill hotspots,amphibians,reptiles,kernel density estimation,landscape structure,landscape metrics,
|Publication Year :||2019|
With the expansion of the road systems, natural landscape are cut into small pieces of patches, and the habitats of wildlife are affected negatively. Due to the shrinking of habitat, the events that wildlife crosses the road happen more and more frequently. The roadkill events not only put drivers in danger situations, but also become a major threat to species that are more sensitive to road impacts. In recent years, the rise of citizen science has made it easier for people to collect relevant data compared to the conventional way of sending researchers directly to the spots for research purpose.. However, due to its voluntary nature, there are still many roads in remote areas that lack investigation. If one intends to know the species threatened by roadkill events in those data-lacking areas, there is still a need for a fixed investigation by researchers.
This study conducts on-the-spot investigations in the four mountainous roads of the Tucheng and Sanxia District in New Taipei City, data on roadkill among different animal groups is collected, a database is established for analysis, and the hotspot locations are identified through kernel density estimation, with the spatio-temporal distribution patten of various species being discussed and explored. Finally, through the analysis of the landscape metrics related to the landscape structure, landscape differences between the hotspots and non-hotspots are described.
The results show that the spatio-temporal distribution pattern of the roadkill events are completely different under the influence of various environmental factors, but the species are mainly the frogs, lizards and the snakes, showing that amphibians and reptiles are the most severely affected species by roadkill in mountainous roads. And the peak period of roadkill is mainly in spring and summer. Structures on both sides of the road such as the Jersey barrier, towering retaining walls and slope design may be obstacles to animals when acrossing the road. In addition, the analysis of the landscape structure shows that the landscape structure of the Tucheng District research area has a larger area of forest patches, and the overall landscape heterogeneity is lower, while the Sanxia District research area has a smaller area and lower connectivity of forest patches. The total landscape in Sanxia District is more fragmental in roadkill hotspots. It is speculated that if only use the landscape structure to illustrate the formation factors of the roadkill hotspot, the explanatory power would be weak, and therefore may have more important correlations with the existence of streams and water bodies or other factors.
Through the analysis of the annual roadkill locations, this study has set up several roadkill hotspots on each road to provide a location where the roadkill events are clustered, which is able to serve as a reference for future plans to set the mitigation measures. It is recommended to give priority to the improvement of roadkill mitigation for the 115 township roads in the Sanxia District, and use temporary techniques to monitor the effectiveness first. After assessing the demand, it is necessary to consider whether there is a need for a permanent construction structure.
The results of the survey and the analysis can be provided to New Taipei City government as the base for monitoring roadkill events on agricultural roads, but since the investigation period is only one year, longer term of monitoring is demanded if there is a need for more detailedand credible roadkill species as well as hotspots information.
|Appears in Collections:||生物環境系統工程學系|
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