Road mortality of Carnivores (Mammalia, Carnivora) in Belarus

  • Anna Sidorovich Scientific and Practical Center for Bioresources of National Academy of Sciences of Belarus
  • Ruslan Novitsky Scientific and Practical Center for Biological Resources of National Academy of Sciences of Belarus
  • Irina Solovej
Keywords: Carnivora, road mortality, regional patterns, seasonal variation, Belarus


Global road infrastructure is expanding rapidly, and its threats to wildlife populations is increasing worldwide. We determined the species composition of carnivores killed on roads in Belarus. Seasonal dynamics and regional patterns of mortality rates were estimated. From July 2007 to august 2018, we traveled a total of 52,159 km, and recorded 368 carnivore road-kills representing 11 species (73 % of the study area checklist). Average mortality rate equaled 7.25 road-killed individuals per 1000 km/day surveyed across all roads. The most common species we encountered were the domestic cat Felis silvestris catus Linnaeus, 1758 (53.3 %, n=196), common dog Canis lupus familiaris Linnaeus, 1758 (21.4 %, n=78), and red fox Vulpes vulpes Linnaeus, 1758 (14.7 %, n=54). Our results confirmed that traffic volume and time of the year strongly influence frequency of road-kills, along that, we did not reveal significant impacts of road mortality on populations of carnivores in Belarus.


Barthelmess E. 2014. Spatial distribution of road-kills and factors influencing road mortality for mammals in Northern New York State // Biodiversity and Conservation. - 23. - P. 2491 - 2514.

Basille M., Van Moorter B., Herfindal I., Martin J., Linnell J.D.C., Odden J., Andersen R., Gaillard J.M. 2013. Selecting habitat to survive: the impact of road density on survival in a large carnivore // PLoS One. - 8. - P. 1-11

Benítez-López A., Alkemade R., Verweij P.A. 2010. The impacts of roads and other infrastructure on mammal and bird populations: a meta-analysis // Biological Conservation. - 143. - P. 1307-1316.

Ceia‐Hasse A., Borda-de-Agua L., Grilo C., Pereira H.M. 2017. Global exposure of carnivores to roads // Global Ecology and Biogeography. - 26. - P. 592-600.

Červinka J., Riegert J., Grill S., Šálek M. 2015. Large-scale evaluation of carnivore road mortality: the effect of landscape and local scale characteristics // Mammal Research. - 60. - P. 233-243.

Clarke G.P., White P.C.L., Harris S. 1998. Effects of roads on badger Meles meles populations in south-west England // Biological Conservation. - 86. - P. 117-124.

Clevenger A.P., Chruszcz B., Gunson K.E. 2003. Spatial patterns and factors influencing small vertebrate fauna road-kill aggregations // Biological Conservation. - 109. - P. 15-26.

Clevenger A.P., Waltho N. 2000. Factors influencing the effectiveness of wildlife underpasses in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada // Conservation Biology. - 14. - P. 47-56.

Corlatti L., Hacklander K., Frey-Roos F. 2009. Ability of Wildlife Overpasses to Provide Connectivity and Prevent Genetic Isolation // Conservation Biology. - 3. - N 23. - P. 548-556.

Crooks K.R., Soulé M.E. 1999. Mesopredator release and avifauna extinctions in a fragmented system // Nature. - 400. - P. 563-566.

Debrot S., Fivaz G., Mermod C., Weber J.M. 1982. Atlas des poils de mammiferes d'Europe // Neuchatel. - Inst. Zool. Univ. Neuchatel.

Dodd C. K. Jr., Barichivich W.J., Smith L.L. 2004. Effectiveness of a barrier wall and culverts in reducing wildlife mortality on a heavily traveled highway in Florida // Biological Conservation. - 118. - P. 619-631.

Evink G.L., Garrett P., Zeigler D., Berry J. (eds). 1996. Trends in addressing transportation related wildlife mortality // Florida. - Florida Dept. of Transportation, Tallahassee, FL-ER-P. 58-96.

Fahrig L., Rytwinski T. 2009. Effect of roads on animal abundance: an empirical review and synthesis // Ecology and Society. - 14. - P. 21

Ferreras P., Aldama J.J., Beltrán J.F., Delibes M. 1992. Rates and causes of mortality in a fragmented population of Iberian lynx Felis pardina Temminck 1824 // Biological Conservation. - 61. - P. 197-202.

Forman R.T.T., Alexander L.E. 1998. Roads and their major ecological effects // Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics. - 29. - P. 207-231.

Ghorov D.G., Sidorovich A.A. 2013. Analysis of the species structure and mortality rates of mammals (Mammalia L.) dying on roads with different traffic intensities in Belarus // Vestnik Belorusskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta. - 3. - P. 46-50.

Glista D.J., DeVault T.L., De Woody J.A. 2009. A review of mitigation measures for reducing wildlife mortality on roadways // Landscape and Urban Planning. - 91. - P. 1-7.

Grigyantz R.B. 1993. The software for informational and search systems with data bases of full-text documents of the heterogeneous structure (ASPID/GT) with applications for the statistical analysis (ECOPROG) // Minsk: the Academy of Sciences of Belarus, the Computing Center.

Grilo C., Bissonette J.A., Santos-Reis M. 2009. Spatial-temporal patterns in Mediterranean carnivore road casualties: consequences for mitigation // Biological Conservation. - 142. - P. 301-313.

Grilo C., Bissonette J.A., Cramer P.C. 2010. Mitigation measures to reduce impacts on biodiversity. In: S.R. Jones (ed). Highways: Construction, Management, and Maintenance // Hauppauge, NY. - Nova Science Publishers. - P. 73-114.

Hauer S., Ansorge H., Zinke O. 2002. Mortality patterns of otters (Lutra lutra) from eastern Germany // Journal of Zoology. - 256. - N 3. - P. 361-368.

Hilty J.A., Lidicker W.Z., Merenlender A.M. 2006. Corridor ecology: the science and practice of linking landscapes for biodiversity conservation // Washington DC. - Island Press.

Jackson S.D., Griffin C.R. 2000. A strategy for mitigating highway impacts on wildlife. In: T.A. Messmer and B. West (eds). Wildlife and Highways: Seeking Solutions to an Ecological and Socio-Economic Dilemma // Maryland. - The Wildlife Society, Bethesda. - P. 143-159.

Jacobs J. 1974. Quantitative measurements of food selection; a modification of the forage ratio and Ivlev's electivity index // Oecologia. - 14. - P. 413-417.

Jędrzejewski W., Nowak S., Kurek R., Mysłajek R.W., Stachura K., Zawadzka B. 2006. Zwierzeta a drogi. Metody ograniczania negatywnego wplywu drog na populacje dzikich zwierza // Wydanie II poprawione i uzupelnione. - Bialowieza. - Zaklad Badania Ssakow PAN.

Kusak J., Huber D., Frkovic A. 2000. The effects of traffic on large carnivore populations in Croatia // Biosphere Conservation. - 3. - P. 35-39.

Lodé T. 2000. Effect of a Motorway on Mortality and Isolation of Wildlife Populations // Ambio. - 29. - N 3. - P. 163-166.

Priklonsky S.G. 1965. Coefficients to treat the data of winter transsect method of census taking of game animals by their traces [In Russian] // Bull. MOIP (Moscow), biol. Seria. - 70. - P. 5-12.

Pucek Zd. (ed.) 1981. Keys to Vertebrates of Poland Mammals // Warsaw. - Mammal Research Institute Polish Academy of Sciences.

Seiler A. 2003. The toll of the automobile: Wildlife and roads in Swede // Uppsala. - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. - Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae.

Sidorovich V.E. 2011. Analysis of vertebrate predator-prey community // Minsk: Tesey.

Slater, F.M. 2002. An assessment of wildlife road casualties - the potential discrepancy between numbers counted and numbers killed // Web Ecology. - 3. - P. 33-42.

Sokal R.R., Rohlf F.J. 1995. Biometry: The Principles and Practice of Statistics in Biological Research // New York. - W.H. Freeman and company.

Stephen C., Frissell Ch.A. 2000. Review of ecological effect of roads on terrestrial and aquatic communities // Conservation Biology. - 14. - N 1. - P. 18-30.

Sullivan T.A. 2004. Effectiveness of temporary warning signs in reducing deer-vehicle collisions during mule deer migrations // Wildlife Society Bulletin. - 32. - P. 907-915.[0907:EOTWSI]2.0.CO;2

Taylor S.K., Buergelt C.D., Roelke-Parker M.E., Homer B.L., Rotstein D.S. 2002. Causes of mortality of free-ranging Florida panthers // Journal of Wildlife Diseases. - 38. - P. 107-114.

Taylor S.K., Goldingay R.L. 2010. Roads and wildlife: impacts, mitigation and implications for wildlife management in Australia // Wildlife Research. - 37. - P. 320-331.

Teerink B.J. 1991. Hair of West-European Mammals // Cambridge. - Cambridge Univ. Press.

Teixeira F.Z., Coelho A.V.P., Esperandio I.B., Kindel A. 2013. Vertebrate road mortality estimates: Effects of sampling methods and carcass removal // Biological Conservation. - 157. - P. 317-323.

Underhill J.E., Angold P.G. 2000. Effects of roads on wildlife in an intensively modified landscape // Environmental Reviews. - 8. - P. 21-39.

Waser P.M. 1996. Patterns and consequences of dispersal in gregarious carnivores. In: J.L. Gittleman (ed) Carnivore Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution // Ithaca, NY. - Cornell University Press.

Woodroffe G. 1994. The otter // The Mammal Society.

Yanes M., Velasco J., and Suarez F. 1995. Permeability of roads and railways to vertebrates: the importance of culverts // Biological Conservation. - 71. - P. 217-222.

How to Cite
Sidorovich, A., Novitsky, R., & Solovej, I. (2020). Road mortality of Carnivores (Mammalia, Carnivora) in Belarus. Zoodiversity, 54(3), 211–220.