COMPOSITION OF SMALL MAMMAL POPULATIONS ON HIGHWAY RIGHT-OF-WAY IN EAST TEXAS

Many species of wildlife occur along roads. Most rodents spend their entire lives within the rights-of-way (ROWs); larger species are transients which fed within ROWs. Mowing affects abundance of rodents. Species preferring denser cover were more plentiful in unmowed ROWs than in mowed ROWs. Species preferring sparse cover were more abundant in mowed ROWs than in unmowed ROWs. Rodent diversity was greater in less-disturbed habitats (old fields). The types of vegetation occurring in an area influence rodent diversity and abundance. Less than one percent of the rodent community living within ROWs died on the highways. Relative impact of highway mortality on populations of larger animals is probably greater than on rodents, but is probably still negligible. Number of fatalities descreased as traffic volume increased. Fewer than 6 percent of the marked rodents crossed roadways under normal conditions. Immediately following mowing greater proportions of populations crossed pavements. Because of this migration, highways do not constitute barriers to gene flow between animal populations on opposite sides of the facility. /Author/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This study was conducted in cooperation with the Texas State Department of Highways and Public Transportation, Transportation Planning Division and with the Federal Highway Administration.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Texas Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System, 1600 E Lamar Boulevard
    Arlington, TX  USA  76011
  • Authors:
    • Schmidly, D J
    • Wilkins, K T
  • Publication Date: 1977-5

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; Tables;
  • Pagination: 104 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00168381
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA TX 77197-1F Final Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: Study No. 2-8-76-197
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 16 1978 12:00AM