HIGHWAY FENCES AS VEHICLE-DEER COLLISION DETERRENTS

A survey of highway fencing along Interstate 80 in Centre County showed that 7 1/2 foot, type 3-modified fence has little value as a vehicle-deer collision deterrent; many deer crawl under the fence to the planted right-of-way and abundance of gaps underneath provides for easy penetration. From December 1974 through March 1976 numbers and position of deer were observed from a vehicle driven along 6 miles of I-80 at night. Bimodal patterns of abundance were found, deer were most numerous in spring and fall; of 2577 deer sightings, 74.5% were on the highway side and 25.5% on the far side of the fence. Comparisons between a control area (north side of highway) where the fence was unmodified and test areas (south side) where gaps underneath were plugged and/or top five wires removed or repaired showed that the critical weakness in the fence is the underside but also that large numbers of deer cross a fully repaired fence. Only 6 deer were reported killed during the 16 months of study and no live deer were seen on the highway; these results, relative to previous findings beginning in 1967, strongly suggest that high traffic volume prevents deer from venturing onto the highway, thus reducing collisions.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Pennsylvania State University, University Park

    Institute for Research on Land and Water Resources
    University Park, PA  USA  16802
  • Authors:
    • Bellis, E D
    • Graves III, H B
  • Publication Date: 1976-6

Media Info

  • Pagination: 26 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00153873
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Federal Highway Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-PA-74-9 Final Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: 53029
  • Files: NTIS, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Sep 20 1977 12:00AM