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Effectiveness of acoustic road markings in reducing deer-vehicle collisions: a behavioural study
- Ujvári, Marianne, Baagøe, Hans Jørgen, Madsen, Aksel Bo
- Wildlife biology 2004 v.10 no.2 pp. 155-159
- Cervus dama, acoustics, deer, experimental design
- The behavioural responses and habituation of fallow deer Dama dama to play-back sounds from repeatedly occurring acoustic road markings were studied during 13 nights. Our experimental design eliminated factors normally associated with passing vehicles (e.g. vehicle noise and light), and fallow deer were exposed to play-back sounds from road markings at predetermined time intervals. Though the distribution of the predefined behavioural responses ‘flight’, ‘alarm’, ‘movement of head’ and ‘no reaction’ varied among nights, the fallow deer exhibited increasing indifference to sounds from road markings with time, and this we explained as being habituation to the acoustic stimulus. As we expect our results to be valid for other species of deer as well, we find that acoustic road markings are not a reliable method to reduce the number of deer-vehicle collisions on a long-term basis.