Deer-vehicle collisions are a major concern throughout much of the Nation, accounting for human injury and death, damage to vehicles, and potential reductions of local deer populations. Most states attempt to minimize deer-vehicle collisions through a variety of techniques, including signs, modified speed limits, highway lighting, roadside fencing, over/underpasses, reflective devices, warning whistles, habitat alteration, deer hazing, and driver awareness programs. However, few studies have examined the efficacy of such techniques, and a distinct paucity of information exists on deer behavior relative to these mitigation efforts. Furthermore, many deer deterrent devices were designed with little reference to the sensory capabilities of deer as evidenced by a lack of published information on the subjects.
This research project is designed to provide a more thorough understanding of the physiological processes driving deer behavior, and to use this understanding as an aid in the successful development and implementation of technologies designed to minimize the incidence of deer-vehicle collisions. Specific objectives are to:
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