Reduce Vehicle-Animal Collisions with Installation of Small Animal Exclusion Fencing

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  07/28/2022


Motorists suddenly stopping or swerving to avoid small animals crossing the road create significant hazards. Pedestrians trying to assist the animals across the road risk serious injury, as do motorcyclists and bicyclists if they hit an animal. Turtles are the world’s most imperiled group of vertebrates, and roads are a primary threat. A multiyear research project has found an effective solution for these public safety and conservation concerns. Researchers conducted an in-depth study observing the impact of a chain-link fence design in keeping turtles off the roads. After retrofitting the design with 0.5-inch wire mesh, they found turtle mortality decreased up to 91%. The fence design uses readily available and cost-effective materials. Combined with under-the-road culverts for habitat connectivity, MnDOT will now have standard designs to use in projects. In addition to the cost savings from avoiding extra engineering or design work, public safety and conservation are enhanced.

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