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Monitoring Small Animal Usage Patterns of Suburban Wildlife Tunnels: Behaviour, Design, And Recommendations

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Title: Monitoring Small Animal Usage Patterns of Suburban Wildlife Tunnels: Behaviour, Design, And Recommendations
Author: Pomezanski, Dorian
Department: Department of Geography
Program: Geography
Advisor: Bennett, Lorne
Abstract: Underpass crossing structures can reduce the threat of road mortality by facilitating safe passage during migration, dispersal, and movement. Monitoring these structures is important for determining effectiveness and informing design. I monitored two underpass structures in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, to understand the usage patterns of wildlife and the behavioural responses of anurans to tunnel substrate. Two trail cameras took photos at 10-15 second intervals from April to October 2016. We recorded 2,892 crossing events, of which 795 were by anurans. Anuran crossings were faster and more successful in the gravel-lined tunnel, suggesting it is a more appropriate substrate for facilitating anuran passage. To monitor all types of wildlife, I recommend a 30 second time lapse interval, 24/7 monitoring, and simultaneous motion-sensing monitoring. Ecological movement detection software can be used to reliably identify crossing events. Trail cameras are a low-cost, non-invasive, and informative tool for monitoring wildlife in underpass crossing structures.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/10488
Date: 2017-05-25


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