Behavioral responses of captive deer to visual and physical barriers designed to minimize deer-vehicle collisions
Stull, Daniel William
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As white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and human populations expand and overlap, deer-vehicle collisions become a common occurrence. Although a variety of mitigation techniques have been studied, one of the most effective is exclusion fencing. I evaluated efficacy of exclusion fencing for preventing deer crossing into roadways. Fences were grouped into 3 categories: woven-wire fencing (1.2-2.4-m), opaque fencing (1.2-1.8-m), and fencing with a 45° outrigger. No deer crossed 2.4-m woven-wire fencing. Outrigger fencing angled toward deer and 2.1-m woven-wire fence had similar efficacy and were the next most effective. Efficacy between woven-wire fencing and opaque fencing at similar heights was not different. Outrigger fencing was more effective angled toward deer than away. Outrigger fencing along roadways may act as a one-way crossing instead of potentially trapping deer like 2.4-m woven-wire fence. I also evaluated efficacy of Type III rip-rap as a tactile barrier. Rip-rap was unsuccessful at preventing deer crossings.