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Deadly roads for frogs and toads: a spatial study of amphibian road mortalities and culvert locations in Elk Island National Park

Faculty Advisor




culverts, road mortality, wildlife crossings, migration, population biogeography

Abstract (summary)

Road mortalities involving amphibians and reptiles are an unfortunate consequence of linear disturbances across landscapes. With the expansion of populated areas and the need to access remote locations via vehicle, roads are required, but their impact is greater than just their physical footprint. Mitigation efforts, such as the installation of culverts, are one option of reducing road mortalities among amphibian and reptile populations. Amphibians and reptiles are by far the group with the highest mortality rate due to vehicle impacts. Elk Island National Park, located east of Edmonton, Alberta, offers an excellent opportunity to look at the correlation between road mortality incidences and culvert locations. The main parkway receives hundreds of thousands of vehicle visitors annually, and, with culverts already installed throughout the road network, the analysis of the mortality frequency and location of adjacent culverts should be evident. By examining the spatial relationship between road mortality incidences and culvert access we hope to find a workable solution for amphibian populations. We had strong evidence to support that the mortality rate increased as the distance from the nearest culvert decreased; therefore, mortality rates were strongly related to culvert location.

Publication Information



Item Type

Student Report



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