Spatiotemporal identification of roadkill probability and systematic conservation planning

  • Yu-Pin LinEmail author
  • Johnathen Anthony
  • Wei-Chih Lin
  • Wan-Yu Lien
  • Joy R. Petway
  • Te-En Lin
Research Article



Accurate spatiotemporal modeling of roadkill hotspots is essential for the assessment of high risk roadkill locations. Increasing the spatiotemporal resolution of models may facilitate greater cost-effective solutions for roadkill mitigation strategies.


This study develops a novel spatiotemporal roadkill distribution model to simulate roadkill probability. Moreover, we systematically identify top prioritized road segments by the most frequent roadkill occurrence for multiple focal species.


Based on the theory of the Poisson process, the proposed spatiotemporal roadkill distribution model with seasonal effects is validated with four focal reptilian species. The model simulates spatiotemporal roadkill patterns and addresses uncertainty by referencing ensemble species distribution models. Finally, we systematically prioritize road segments by the most frequent roadkill occurrence for multiple focal species.


The efficacy of the proposed spatiotemporal roadkill distribution model which is validated in terms of the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and accurate proportions. The AUC values based independent roadkill data tests ranged from 0.73 to 0.84. Both the efficacy of the proposed model, and the increases in uncertainty are attributable to decreasing seasonal sampling size and variation. Based on the independent roadkill data, more than 70% of roadkill events occurred within the top 30% priority segments by our approaches.


The proposed model is successfully applied in simulation of spatiotemporal roadkill probability. The seasonal effects benefit identification of high roadkill probability. Through the systematic identification and the proposed model, our approach provides useful information for the design of cost-effective surveys and appropriate conservation planning and mitigation strategies.


Spatiotemporal road kill modeling Hotspot Species distribution Uncertainty Systematic conservation planning 



The authors would like to thank the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Republic of China, Taiwan, for financially supporting this research under Contract Nos. 103-2119-M-002-012, 104-2119-M-002-026- and NSC 101-2119-M-002-016. The first author leads a National Taiwan University team as an associate partner of the projects EU BON and a partner of the SCALES. The EU BON (Project No. 308454) and SCALES Projects (No. 226852) are funded by the European Commission (EC) under the 7th Framework Programme. The authors would like to acknowledge Profs Tsun-Su Ding and Pei-Fan Lee for their partial data support.

Supplementary material

10980_2019_807_MOESM1_ESM.docx (741 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 741 kb)


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Bioenvironmental Systems EngineeringNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Geographic Information Technology Co.TaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Endemic Species Research InstituteChichi TownshipTaiwan

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