The Czech Republic is interwoven with 55,738 km of road network, of which 1,210 km are motorways and 5,811 km of 1st class roads (as of 1 January 2016), which are intensively used. On all these roads, motor vehicles collide with game, often resulting in the killing of game. The authors of the publication ask themselves the question: "In which period do collisions occur with animals most often and what other factors can influence these incidents?"
Researchers at the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences have found in a scientific study that most motor vehicle collisions occur when it gets dawn or is getting dark. The results of the work based on telemetric monitoring of game confirmed that in this period the activity of game is also the highest. During the day, when the intensity of motor vehicle traffic is greatest, wild animals avoid crossing the road. This is especially true for roads with a traffic of at least 10,000 cars per day, during rush hour, which are motorways and some first-class roads. In the winter months there is the least collisions with game, because the physical activity of the game decreases. In winter, the traffic density also decreases below the values ??of the annual average and the roads are clearer, because the trees and shrubs have already shed leaves and the grass is not as high as, for example, in summer.
A number of technical measures, such as reflectors, repellents, etc., are offered to solve the problem of collisions with animals. The management options that have been neglected so far promise considerable perspective. The authors of the study believe that sufficient feeding of game in areas where it needs to migrate from its stalls for food via roads will help to reduce the risk of collision with game. The aim is therefore to ensure that game does not need to cross the road in search of food. "Another way to reduce the number of collisions of vehicles with animals is the introduction of this issue in the teaching of driving schools," adds Associate Professor Kušta.
Kušta, T., Keken, Z., Ježek, M., Holá, M., Šmíd, P. (2016). The effect of traffic intensity and animal activity on probability of ungulate-vehicle collisions in the Czech Republic. Safety Science 91, 105–113.
doc. Ing. Tomáš Kušta, Ph.D.
In 2007, he graduated in Forest Engineering at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, Faculty of Forestry and Environment. In 2011, he completed postgraduate studies at the Department of Forest Protection and Game Management, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, where he has been working as a researcher and teacher of game management. In 2016, he defended his habilitation thesis on the topic "Road and rail transport vs. wildlife: ecological aspects and optimization of game management ".
Prepared by: Tomáš Petřík