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Best Practices Manual. Wildlife Vehicle Collision Reduction Study. Report to Congress. U.S. DOT and FHWA, October 2008, Making America's Highways Safer for Drivers and Wildlife

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America's highways allow people and products to travel to every corner of our nation. Along the way, these roads cut across the habitat of many native wildlife species. When these paths cross, collisions can occur, and in greater numbers than most people realize. Collisions present a real threat to human safety as well as wildlife survival. State and local transportation agencies are looking for ways to balance travel needs, human safety, and wildlife conservation.

A national study completed and submitted to the U.S. Congress in November, 2007, detailed the causes and impacts of wildlife-vehicle collisions and identified potential solutions to this growing safety problem. The Report to Congress focused on tools, methods, and other measures that reduce the number of collisions between vehicles and large wildlife, such as deer, because these accidents present the greatest safety danger to travelers and cause the most damage.

This document builds on the information in the Report to Congress to provide a best-practices manual for practitioners responsible for addressing this problem.


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U. S.government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document. This manual does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U. S.government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this manual only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Copyright Notice

This document was funded in whole under U.S. Government contract DTFH61-05-D-00018-T-06-001. Some photographs in this document contain copyrighted photographs not owned by the U.S. Government. The Contractor grants to the U.S Government, and others acting on its behalf, a paid-up, nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license in such copyrighted data to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies to the public, and perform publicly and display publicly by or on behalf of the Government. All other rights are reserved by the copyright owner(s) and reprint permissions must be requested from those copyright owners.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

1.Report No. FHWA-HEP-09-022 2.government Accession No. 3.Recipient's Catalog No.
4.Title and Subtitle
Wildlife-vehicle Collision Reduction Study: Best Practices Manual
5.Report Date
June 2008
6.Performing Organization Code
M. P. Huijser, P. McGowen, A. P. Clevenger, and R. Ament
8.Performing Organization Report No.
9.Performing Organization Name and Address
Western Transportation Institute, Montana State University
P.O. Box 174250
Bozeman, MT 59717

Under contract to:
The Louis Berger Group, Inc. 30A Vreeland Road
Florham Park, NJ 07932
10.Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
11.Contract or Grant No.
12.Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Safety Research and Development
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101-2296
13.Type of Report and Period Covered Manual
14.Sponsoring Agency Code
15.Supplementary Notes
Sponsoring groups were the Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety Research and Development (C. Tan, A. Zineddin, and H. Valadez), the Federal Highway Administration Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty (Water and Ecosystems Team) (D. Durbin, M. Gray, and P. Garrett), and the Federal Highway Administration Western Federal Lands Highway Division (B. Allen). Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR): Dennis Durbin. Contracting Officer Technical Manager (COTM): Abdul Zineddin.
Under the SAFETEA-LU Congressional Bill, the Secretary of Transportation was directed to conduct a national wildlife-vehicle collision (WVC) reduction study. The study was to advance the understanding of the causes and impacts of WVCs and identify solutions to this growing safety problem. A report was submitted to congress in November 2007.This document builds on that report providing a best practices manual for reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions. Design and implementation guidelines are provided for wildlife fencing, wildlife underpasses and overpasses, animal detection systems, vegetation management and wildlife culling. Additionally for a WVC reduction program, information is provided on regional planning, identification of priority areas, alignment and design considerations, guidelines for monitoring effectiveness of mitigations, and potential funding sources.
17.Key Words
animal-vehicle collisions, deer-vehicle collisions, endangered and threatened species, wildlife fencing, wildlife crossing structures, wildlife overpasses, wildlife underpasses, wildlife-vehicle collisions.
18.Distribution Statement
No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.
19.Security Classif. (of this report)
20.Security Classif. (of this page)
21.No. of Pages

Metric Conversion Table

Symbol When You Know Multiply By To Find Symbol
in inches 25.4 millimeters mm
ft feet 0.305 meters m
yd yards 0.914 meters m
mi miles 1.61 kilometers km
mi miles 1.61 kilometers km
in2 square inches 645.2 square millimeters mm2
ft2 square feet 0.093 square meters m2
yd2 square yard 0.8.36 square meters m2
ac acres 0.405 hectares ha
mi2 square miles 2.59 square kilometers km2
fl oz fluid ounces 29.57 milliliters mL
gal gallons 3.785 liters L
ft3 cubic feet 0.028 cubic meters m3
yd3 cubic yards 0.765 cubic meters m3
NOTE: volumes greater than 1000 L shall be shown in m3
oz ounces 28.35 grams g
lb pounds 0.454 kilograms kg
T short ton (2000 lb) 0.907 megragrams (or "metric ton") Mg (or "t")
TEMPERATURE (exact degree)
°F Farenheit 5(F-32)/9 or (F-32)/1.8. Celsius °C
fc foot-candles 10.76 lux lx
fl foot-Lamberts 3.426 candela/m2 cd/m2
lbf poundforce 4.45 newtons N
lbf/in2 poundforce per square inch 6.8.9 kilopascals kPa
Symbol When You Know Multiply By To Find Symbol
mm millimeters 0.039 inches in
m meters 3.28 feet ft
m meters 1.09 yards yd
km kilometers 0.621 miles mi
mm2 square millimeters 0.0016 square inches in2
m2 square meters 10.764 square feet ft2
m2 square meters 1.195 square yards yd2
ha hectares 2.47 acres ac
km2 square kilometers 0.386 square miles mi2
mL milliliters 0.034 fluid ounces fl oz
L liters 0.264 gallons gal
m3 cubic meters 35.314 cubic feet ft3
m3 cubic meters 1.307 cubic yards yd3
g grams 0.035 ounces oz
kg kilograms 2.202 pounds lb
Mg (or "t") megagrams (or "metric ton") 1.103 short tons (2000 lb) T
TEMPERATURE (exact degrees)
°C Celsius 1.8.C+32 Farenheit °F
lx lux 0.0929 foot-candles fc
cd/m2 candela/m2 0.2919 foot-Lamberts fl
N newtons 0.225 poundforce lbf
kPa kilopascals 0.145 poundforce per square inch lbf/in2

* SI is the symbol for the International System of Units. Appropriate rounding should be made to comply with Section 4 of ASTM E380.
(Revised March 2003)

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Questions and feedback should be directed to Marlys Osterhues (marlys.osterhues@dot.gov, 202-366-2052).

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