Vehicular impact as a source of wildlife mortality in the Western Pacific Coast of Mexico

Carlos Delgado-Trejo, Rubén Herrera-Robledo, Nabil Martínez-Hernández, Cutzi Bedolla-Ochoa, Catherine E. Hart, Javier Alvarado-Díaz, Ireri Suazo-Ortuño, Héctor Nava-Bravo, Leonel Lopez-Toledo, Eduardo Mendoza


Road construction produce abrupt changes in landscape topography, microclimate, vegetation cover and levels of traffic noise. Moreover, road networks negatively affect vertebrate abundance, population gene flow, animal behavior and individual survival. Between July 2010 and January 2011, we conducted 10 surveys of animals killed on a road in Michoacán, Mexico. We recorded a total of 314 animals killed which included: 15 species of reptiles, 13 of mammals, 9 of birds, and 1 amphibian. Mammals were the most impacted accounting for 65% of the road kills followed by reptiles (25%). Mortality concentrated on road sections combining low sinuosity with high forest cover. Of the 15 reptile species recorded, 6 were endemic and 10 were listed as globally threatened or subject to special protection in Mexico. Road killed mammals also included species of conservation concern, 3 of which were endemic to Mexico. Our findings confirm that roads are a major mortality source for wild fauna. Strategies are greatly needed, at the global and local level, to mitigate the impact of roads on biodiversity.

Palabras clave

Human impacts; Michoacán; Road kill; Vertebrates

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Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad, Año 3, No. 12, enero-marzo 2014, es una publicación trimestral editada por la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Delegación Coyoacán, C.P. 04510, Ciudad de México, a través del Instituto de Biología, Tercer Circuito Universitario s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Col. Copilco, Del. Coyoacán, C.P. 04510, Ciudad de México, Tel. (55)56229164,, responsable: Dr. Fernando Álvarez Noguera. Reserva de Derechos al uso Exclusivo No. 04-2013-092709142100-203, ISSN: 2007-8706, ambos otorgados por el Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor, Responsable de la última actualización de este número, Instituto de Biología, UNAM, Dr. Fernando Álvarez Noguera, Tercer Circuito Universitario s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Col. Copilco, Del. Coyoacán, C.P. 04510, Ciudad de México, fecha de la última modificación: 25 de agosto de 2016.

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