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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-08-034
Date: August 2008

Wildlife-Vehicle Collision Reduction Study: Report To Congress

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Chapter 13. Conclusion

This report has summarized the considerable body of existing knowledge on the impacts and mitigations of WVCs. Based on several data sources, it was estimated that one to two million WVCs occur annually (focusing on large animals) and that they continue to be a significant challenge, costing society billions of dollars. WVCs also result in human injuries and fatalities, although this is relatively rare compared to other types of accidents. WVCs are also a serious safety risk for animals, not only for the individuals involved, but in some cases for populations or the entire species. This report identified 21 federally threatened and endangered species for which road mortality was identified as one of the major threats to their long-term survival.

This report reviewed over 34 mitigation measures aimed at reducing WVCs. Wildlife fencing, with or without wildlife crossing structures, animal detection systems, and long tunnels or bridges were found to provide the greatest reduction of WVCs. Site-specific conditions will dictate the appropriate mitigation measure(s), as there is no single, low-cost solution for WVCs that can or should be applied everywhere. A successful mitigation strategy requires a detailed analysis of the problem and the local situation and often involves a combination of different types of mitigation measures. Moreover, improved objective evaluation of the mitigation measures will help States and others make better informed decisions.

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