University of Alberta

Janet Ng, B.Sc.

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Janet Ng, Honours Student (2003-04) Current email: jwn@ualberta.ca

Habitat and landscape factors influencing deer-vehicle collisions in an urban environment.

Abstract. Deer-vehicle collisions are steadily increasing across most of North America. This increase is particularly pronounced in urban natural areas where habitat fragmentation increases deer populations and where human and road densities are high. In the greater city of Edmonton, 220 deer-vehicle collisions occurred in 2002 and 2003. To identify the landscape and traffic correlates of these collisions, we referenced their locations to the nearest intersection and applied these points, plus an equivalent number of randomly-generated control locations, to a geographic information system (GIS). We then used multivariate logistic regression to determine which habitat, landscape, and traffic factors were correlated with deer-vehicle collisions and assessed these at multiple spatial scales. Deer-vehicle collisions occurred in areas with higher speed limits, higher proportions of non-forested vegetation between 400 and 800 m from the accident intersection, and a combination of low road densities within 400 m and close proximity to forest. Our results suggest that rates of deer-vehicle collisions could be reduced by lowering speed limits, particularly in areas with surrounding vegetation that is attractive to deer.

Last Modified:2012-04-13