Landscape and Ecological Engineering

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 87–99 | Cite as

Disentangling roadkill: the influence of landscape and season on cumulative vertebrate mortality in South Korea

  • Changwan SeoEmail author
  • James H. Thorne
  • Taeyoung Choi
  • Hyuksoo Kwon
  • Chong-Hwa Park
Original Paper


This study recorded and analyzed cumulative vertebrate roadkill data on 107 km of roads in rural South Korea and reports the first intensive roadkill study results from Asia. Over 30 months, roadkill strikes and adjacent landscape factors were recorded daily or every other day on three types of roads: highway, local, and riverside. For analysis, roads were segmented into 250-m units, and roadkill hotspot segments were calculated with the Getis–Ord Gi* statistic. Eighteen road characteristics and landscape factors were correlated to roadkill hotspots using multiple logistic regression analysis. Mammal mortality increased from spring to fall, whereas bird mortality peaked in summer. Reptile and amphibian mortality peaked during fall. Seasonal focal species’ mortality tracked the taxonomic groups they represent, except oriental scops owl (Otus scops), for which yearly mortality peaked 2 months earlier than for most birds. Mammal and bird roadkill hotspots were concentrated on the highway, which passes across mountains, whereas amphibian and reptile hotspots were on the riverside road because of movements related to breeding, juvenile dispersal, and hibernation. However, many species used the spatially complex agricultural fields along the local road, especially during harvest season. The significant site and landscape factors that influenced overall roadkill hotspots were a high landscape percentage of water and rice paddies, low traffic volumes, high percentage of natural vegetation, an absence of road banking, high roadside grass presence, and an absence of drainage. South Korea has an active wildlife-crossing management program, and these findings can inform avoidance, minimization, and mitigation strategies and practices.


Roadkill landscape modeling Roadkill hotspots Gi* statistic Logistic regression Roadkill phenology South Korea 



Funding for this study was provided by the Korean Technology Development Agency of the Ministry of the Environment and the Eco-STAR Project. The work was accomplished due to the field efforts of technicians, and we greatly appreciate their dedication. We acknowledge, in particular, the efforts of Cheonkwon Choi and Donggi Choi in coordinating the surveys used as the basis of this work.

Supplementary material

11355_2013_239_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (90 kb)
Supplementary Appendix 1 (PDF 91 kb)


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Copyright information

© International Consortium of Landscape and Ecological Engineering and Springer Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Changwan Seo
    • 1
    Email author
  • James H. Thorne
    • 2
  • Taeyoung Choi
    • 3
  • Hyuksoo Kwon
    • 4
  • Chong-Hwa Park
    • 5
  1. 1.Environmental Planning InstituteSeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Science and PolicyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  3. 3.Nature Assessment Research TeamNational Institute of Environmental ResearchIncheonRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Nature Conservation Research DivisionNational Institute of Environmental ResearchIncheonRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Department of Landscape Architecture, The Graduate School of Environmental StudiesSeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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