Road ecology blog: Wildlife fence along Nuevo Xcan-Playa Del Carmen highway, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
The previous road ecology blog focused on the underpasses along this highway. This blog focuses on the wildlife fences. Unfortunately, the wildlife fences only extend for a few hundred meters at a maximum from the underpasses. Such short fences are less effective in reducing collisions with wildlife than fences that are at least several kilometers long (see Huijser et al. 2016 in Biological Conservation). The fences seem to be sufficiently tall for ungulates. However, there is no overhang on top of the fence and the mesh size is relatively large. Overhangs that are angled away from the road and smaller mesh size (e.g. chain-link) are a more effective barrier for puma and jaguar. The use of metal posts is good as they are harder to climb by big cats than wooden posts. The fences seems to be dug into the ground which reduces the likelihood that animals will dig under the fence (e.g. gray fox). Also note that the mesh sizes are smaller closer to the ground. This reduces the likelihood that smaller animal species can crawl through the fence.
Image below: In the tropics, fences can be quickly overgrown with vines and other vegetation. This may reduce the barrier effect of the fences to wildlife.
Click here for images of wildlife fencing.
Click here for images of multifunctional underpasses.
Click here for images of wildlife underpasses.
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