EFFECTIVENESS OF ULTRASONIC WILDLIFE WARNING DEVICES TO REDUCE MOOSE FATALITIES ALONG RAILWAY CORRIDORS
Railway accidents resulting in the fatality of big game may have a substantial impact on populations in the vicinity of the railroad right-of-way. Little research has been done on possible mitigation techniques. We evaluated the effectiveness of a commercially available wildlife warning device (Hobi Ultrasonic Whistle) when mounted on Canadian National Railway locomotives which cross the northwestern section of Ontario where moose are the principle big game species. Trains with whistles hit and killed significantly fewer moose than those not utilizing the devices (P < 0.05). Also, the crews of locomotives with the devices attached took significantly fewer preventative actions to scare wildlife away from the tracks. Although the voluntary nature of participation by engineers operating the trains limited data quality, results suggest that the mounting of these ultrasonic whistles on locomotives could lead to a significant reduction in wildlife-train encounters and thus results in fewer moose fatalities.
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