Current Zoology(formerly Acta Zoologica Sinica), 2011, 57(6): 768 - 774
Factors contributing to amphibian road mortality in a wetland
Haijun GU, Qiang DAI, Qian WANG, Yuezhao WANG
C h e n g d u I n s t i t u t e o f B i o l o g y , C h i n e s e A c a d e m y o f S c i e n c e s , C h e n g d u 6 1 0 0 4 1 , C h i n a
To understand road characteristics and landscape features associated with high road mortality of amphibians in Zoige Wetland National Nature Reserve, we surveyed road mortality along four major roads after rainfall in May and September 2007. Road mortality of three species, Rana kukunoris, Nanorana pleskei and Bufo minshanicus, was surveyed across 225 transects (115 in May and 110 in September). Transects were 100 m long and repeated every two kilometers along the four major roads. We used model averaging to assess factors that might determine amphibian road mortality. We recorded an average of 24.6 amphibian road mortalities per kilometer in May and 19.2 in September. Among road characteristics, road width was positively associated with road morality for R. kukunori and B. minshanicus. Traffic volume also increased the road mortality of B. minshanicus in September. Of the landscape features measured, area proportions of three types of grassland (wet, mesic and dry) within 1 km of the roads, particularly that of wet grassland, significantly increased road mortality for R. kukunori andtotal mortality across all three species. To most effectively reduce road mortality of amphibians in the Zoige wetlands, we suggest better road design such as avoiding wet grasslands, minimizing road width, underground passes and traffic control measures. The implementation of public transit in the area would reduce traffic volume, and hence mortality [Current Zoology 57 (6): 768–774, 2011].