Linking Landscapes for Massachusetts Wildlife: 2010-2017 Road Mortality Summary Report January 2018 Revised March 2018

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Linking Landscapes for Massachusetts Wildlife: 2010-2017 Road Mortality Summary Report January 2018 Revised March 2018

- 2018

Organization: Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

Location: Massachusetts

Abstract:

Initiated in 2010, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Linking Landscapes for Massachusetts Wildlife (LLMW) project objectives are to document wildlife road mortality and identify locations with high wildlife mortality rates. The information generated will inform transportation infrastructure planning so that roadway improvements can be designed to mitigate the impacts of roads on wildlife, by improving connectivity and reducing animal-vehicle collisions. Reducing animal vehicle collisions can also improve public safety for the motoring public. The project combines expertise from various state agencies and information from the public. The LLMW websites provides three data entry portals to the public, one for general wildlife road mortality, one for vernal pool amphibian crossing road mortality, and one for turtle road mortality data entry. These three separate data entry portals can be accessed by anyone. LLMW also coordinates a systematic turtle mortality monitoring program. Citizen scientists conduct repeated surveys during the nesting season at selected locations and enter their data into the turtle mortality data portal. From January 2010 to September 2017, 528 volunteers have participated in one or more of these projects, resulting in the documentation of over 6,450 mortalities, representing 82 species at 2,301 locations throughout the state. For this report, LLMW data were summarized and mapped to identify locations with high rates of mortality for general wildlife, vernal pool amphibians, and turtles. Twenty-one locations where 11 or more
mortalities were reported within a one-mile stretch of roadway for general wildlife, 48 locations were vernal pool amphibians cross roads, and 483 total locations with turtle mortalities were observed. The general wildlife and vernal pool observations were opportunistic, while the turtle observations consisted of a mix of opportunistic observations and systematically chosen survey locations. Additionally, wildlife mortality data collected by MassDOT maintenance personnel and animal-vehicle crash data from MassDOT’s Crash Portal were also summarized, and used to identify hotspots for wildlife mortality around the Commonwealth.

Tags:

Document Type: pre-mitigation protocols pre-mitigation monitoring guidelines justification to mitigate other resources
Project Type: fencing public awareness campaigns signage underpass
Infrastructure Asset: existing roadway
Fauna: amphibians large mammals medium mammals reptiles small mammals