European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 399–409 | Cite as

Factors influencing wolf Canis lupus roadkills in Northwest Spain

  • Victor Javier Colino-Rabanal
  • Miguel Lizana
  • Salvador J. Peris
Original Paper

Abstract

Roadkill is one of the most prominent causes of wildlife mortality. Much research effort has focussed on collisions with ungulates because of traffic safety. However, studies about large carnivore roadkills are scarce despite vehicles being a main cause of mortality. The absence of studies can be explained in part because of difficulties in obtaining sufficient sample sizes. We collected data from locations of 82 wolf roadkill sites in the Castilla y León Region, northwest Spain. We evaluated different models to characterise collision localities using logistic regressions with corrections for rare events. The best models included traffic and human disturbance parameters. Landscape variables did not improve predictive power. Fencing was a decisive key predictor; roadkill was proportionally higher along fenced highways than on similar major roads that lacked fences. Wolf–vehicle collisions were more common in agricultural areas, although wolf densities were lower in these zones. Both the higher density of important roads and a greater proportion of roaming wolves on the plateau may explain this pattern.

Keywords

Animal–vehicle collisions Carnivores Fencing Logistic modelling Roads Wolf 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Traffic reports used in this study were contributed by the Traffic Safety Observatory of the Dirección General de Tráfico, the Traffic Subsectors of the Guardia Civil and the Servicios Territoriales of the Department of Environment which belongs to the Junta de Castilla y León. Ph.D. thesis where this study is included has been supported by the Junta de Castilla y León by means of a pre-doctoral scholarship. T. Langen (University of Clarkson, New York, NY, USA) and J. Talegón are acknowledged for their useful comments. Two anonymous reviewers contributed to improve this paper with their helpful and constructive remarks. We would also like to thank Mr. G.H. Jenkins for his help with the English version of the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor Javier Colino-Rabanal
    • 1
  • Miguel Lizana
    • 1
  • Salvador J. Peris
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Biología Animal, Parasitología, Ecología, Edafología y Química Agrícola, Área de ZoologíaUniversidad de SalamancaSalamancaSpain

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