Open Journal of Ecology

Volume 6, Issue 6 (May 2016)

ISSN Print: 2162-1985   ISSN Online: 2162-1993

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Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Wildlife Road Mortality in Golestan National Park-North East of Iran

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DOI: 10.4236/oje.2016.66031    2,114 Downloads   2,793 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Nowadays, wildlife road mortality is acknowledged as a main source of threatening long-term survival of wildlife. This paper as the first to analysis wild life vehicle collisions in Iran, aims to reconstruct and interpret the spatio-temporal patterns of WVCs on Asiaei highway in Golestan National Park (GNP). With the collaboration of environmental protection department of GNP, we identified about 1900 WVC Records involving 34 different species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians between 2004 and 2013. Mammals were involved in more than 50% of overall WVCs, among which wild boar (Sus scrofa), Golden Jackal (Canis aureus), Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes), hedgehog (Erinaceus concolor), stone marten (Martes foina) and porcupine (Hystrix indica) were involved in more than 90% of mammals’ mortalities; So, we focused on analyzing spatio-temporal pattern of vehicle collisions of these six mammal species. During the study period, these species have undergone 95% increase in road mortalities, averagely. Detailed temporal analyses exhibited an increasing trend of road mortalities from spring to summer and then a reducing one to late winter. It was shown that a large number of collisions occurred in holiday periods when recreational trips considerably increased the traffic volume of Asiaei highway. Preliminary inspection of spatial patterns using Kernel density analysis revealed six collision hotspots, mostly located in the road bends with densely forested land cover on both sides; the promenades along the road seemed to play a significant role too. Scale dependency analyses of collision patterns, demonstrated clustering pattern at micro scales less than 10 km, randomness at meso scales 10 - 20 km and both regularity and clustering at macro scales more than 20 km. This paper suggests that road mortality of common species in GNP is a momentous issue, which needs to be considered by relevant governmental and public organizations. We also emphasize that the analyses of spatial and temporal patterns of WVCs are fundamentals to plan for mitigate wildlife road mortality.

Cite this paper

Kazemi, V. , Jafari, H. and Yavari, A. (2016) Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Wildlife Road Mortality in Golestan National Park-North East of Iran. Open Journal of Ecology, 6, 312-324. doi: 10.4236/oje.2016.66031.

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