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19-01-2021 | Issue 2/2021

Environmental Management 2/2021

Potential Movement Corridors and High Road-Kill Likelihood do not Spatially Coincide for Felids in Brazil: Implications for Road Mitigation

Journal:
Environmental Management > Issue 2/2021
Authors:
Rafaela Cobucci Cerqueira, Paul B. Leonard, Lucas Gonçalves da Silva, Alex Bager, Anthony P. Clevenger, Jochen A. G. Jaeger, Clara Grilo
Important notes

Supplementary information

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00267-020-01411-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

The negative effects of roads on wildlife populations are a growing concern. Movement corridors and road-kill data are typically used to prioritize road segments for mitigation measures. Some research suggests that locations where animals move across roads following corridors coincide with locations where they are often killed by vehicles. Other research indicates that corridors and road-kill rarely occur in the same locations. We compared movement corridor and road mortality models as means of prioritizing road segments for mitigation for five species of felids in Brazil: tiger cats (Leopardus tigrinus and Leopardus guttulus were analyzed together), ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), jaguarundi (Herpailurus yagouaroundi), and puma (Puma concolor). We used occurrence data for each species and applied circuit theory to identify potential movement corridors crossed by roads. We used road-kill records for each species and applied maximum entropy to determine where mortality was most likely to occur on roads. Our findings suggest that movement corridors and high road mortality are not spatially associated. We suggest that differences in the behavioral state of the individuals in the species occurrence and road-kill data may explain these results. We recommend that the road segments for which the results from the two methods agree (~5300 km for all studied species combined at 95th percentile) should be high-priority candidates for mitigation together with road segments identified by at least one method in areas where felids occur in low population densities or are threatened by isolation effects.

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