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Roadkill and Landscape Scales on the California Central Coast


Roadkill data have been analyzed in a 25.6 mile-long highway stretch in the Californian central coast, in search of distribution patterns. The highway stretch was broken up into 1/10 mile sections. Roadkill data were collected along the road, mapped, and analyzed together with surrounding landscape units and landscape features defined at three different scales, namely micro-, meso-, and macro-landscape scales.

Landscape and roadkill data were arranged in such a way as to allow numerous comparisons between them at each scale. Most analyses were done by analyzing the line of best fit in X-Y plots. Linear and logarithmic comparisons were made, and t-scores (<0.05) were used to determine statistical significance.

Trends in roadkill distribution along roads have been found at different scales. Roadkill distribution patterns related to landscape features have been identified through statistical analysis even where geographical cluster does not exist.

In addition the statistical analysis, new roadkill evidence found during the underpass inventory suggested the existence of an important deer pathway, operating at a larger scale than the one used in this study. Should the pathway be confirmed as such by future specific monitoring, efficient corrective measures could be successfully determined and implemented.

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