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Roadkill patterns in Latin American birds and mammals

Medrano-Vizcaíno, P., Grilo, C., Pinto, F. A. S., Carvalho, W. D., Melinski, R. D., Schultz, E. D. and González-Suárez, M. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5069-8900 (2022) Roadkill patterns in Latin American birds and mammals. Global Ecology and Biogeography. ISSN 1466-8238

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/geb.13557

Abstract/Summary

Aim Roads are a major threat for wildlife, degrading habitat and causing mortality via wildlife-vehicle collisions. In Latin America, the conjunction of high biodiversity and a rapidly expanding road network is reason for concern. We introduce an approach that combines species traits and habitat preferences to describe vulnerability and map high roadkill risk areas. Thus, we present the first assessment of roadkill impacts for Latin American birds and mammals. Location Latin America. Time period 1994–2020. Major taxa studied Birds and mammals. Methods We compiled data from 85 roadkill surveys from Latin America that provided 1691 roadkill rate estimates for 346 bird and 159 mammalian species, from which, 520 rates from 249 birds and 457 rates from 103 mammals were used for analyses. We applied Random Forest models to predict observed roadkill rates considering species’ traits, habitat preferences, and the geographic coordinates of each study to control for local and regional variation. Fitted models were used to predict spatial risks in Latin American roads for roadkilled birds and mammals across their areas of habitat. Results We found higher roadkill rates in larger birds and medium-sized mammals with faster reproduction (more clutches/litters per year and early maturity ages), higher population densities, and wider use of habitats that included anthropized areas. In mammals, scavengers and those with diets based on invertebrates showed higher rates. Spatial predictions revealed higher rates in roads across Central America, northern Andean regions, eastern Brazil, Uruguay, central-eastern Argentina, and southern Chile. Main conclusions This first comprehensive assessment for Latin America explores various drivers of roadkill risk for birds and mammals and identifies species and areas where existing roads can impact wildlife. Trait-based models fine-tuned with realistic spatial information that accounts for habitat suitability provide a valuable tool for the assessment of human impacts including roads and traffic.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:105563
Publisher:Wiley

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