WILDLIFE AND TRAFFIC

Since Slovakia joined the EU, a notable increase in traffic volume and the development of the road infrastructure has been recorded. This process is directly connected with the increase of wildlife - traffic collisions and disruption of migration corridors for the larger mammals. Until recently, the government bodies responsible for the construction of roads and traffic safety ignored the issue of animals on the roads. At an important meeting in 1997 we expressed concern about this problem of wildlife on the roads. The answer we received says it all ”Dear colleague, do not worry, your animals will get used to the cars.” What happened a few years later is shown in the following graphs. Until 2008 wildlife traffic mortality was not recorded. Based on our recommendations, since 2008 the National Forest Centre in Zvolen has started to keep records on traffic mortality of wildlife from all hunting grounds in Slovakia. The data is included in the National Hunting Statistics. Because Slovakia was lacking information about wildlife corridors, we conducted a migration study focused on the identification of crossings between highways and wildlife habitats. The output of this study was published in the book “Brown bear corridors in Slovakia” (2007). Maintaining the possibility of migration through these crossings with the help of ecoducts can secure the habitat connectivity across the country.

 

Traffic mortality of large carnivores in Slovakia. © Zdroj Poľovnícka štatistika SR Traffic mortality of wild ungulates in Slovakia. © Zdroj Poľovnícka štatistika SR

 

Roe deer is the most frequent ungulate killed on Slovak roads. © Marián Slamka Wildcats often ends up under the wheels of a car. © Marián Slamka

 

An owl hit by the car. © Marián Slamka The collision of a car with a large animal species, such as wild boar or stags, can have tragic consequences for the passengers. © Marián Slamka

 

 

The risk of wildlife-traffic collisions is considerably mitigated by building overpasses, underpasses, and culverts. © Slavomír Finďo             
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