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Title:Could Cattle Guards Augmented with Electrified Pavement Prevent Mule Deer and Elk Access to Highways?
Authors:Joseph P. Flower and Patricia C. Cramer
University:Utah State University
Publication Date:Dec 2015
Report #:MPC-15-297
Project #:MPC-432
TRID #:01590499
Keywords:deer, electricity, evaluation and assessment, pavement design, retrofitting, wildlife, wildlife crossings
Type:Research Report – MPC Publications



Motorists and wildlife are at risk when wild animals enter highways at access roads that bisect wildlife exclusion fencing. Cattle guards are common at access roads, but are ineffective wildlife barriers. Electrified pavement is an emerging technology previously untested as an ungulate deterrent. Our objective with this study was to evaluate whether a standard cattle guard augmented with a strip of electrified pavement could reduce mule deer and elk intrusions through fence openings at rates comparable to specialized barriers, but at reduced cost. To determine the efficacy of the augmented guards as a barrier to wildlife movement, a two-part approach was used that included (1) a feeding exclosure trial using augmented guards deployed at entrances to baited wildlife exclosures at the Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area in Northern Utah, and (2) a road trial in situ on an access road to Interstate 15 in Southern Utah. Our goal was to provide a rigorous assessment of a cost-effective retrofit to standard cattle guards that could reduce wildlife intrusions to roadways and other protected areas at rates comparable to specialized guards.

How to Cite

Flower, Joseph P., and Patricia C. Cramer. Could Cattle Guards Augmented with Electrified Pavement Prevent Mule Deer and Elk Access to Highways?, MPC-15-297. North Dakota State University - Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, Fargo: Mountain-Plains Consortium, 2015.

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