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What Works in Conservation 2017

 | 
William J. Sutherland
, 
Lynn V. Dicks
, 
Nancy Ockendon
, 
et al.

1. AMPHIBIAN CONSERVATION

1.4 Threat: Transportation and service corridors

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Based on the collated evidence, what is the current assessment of the effectiveness of interventions for transportation and service corridors?

Likely to be beneficial

● Close roads during seasonal amphibian migration
● Modify gully pots and kerbs

Trade-off between benefit and harms

● Install barrier fencing along roads
● Install culverts or tunnels as road crossings

Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)

● Use signage to warn motorists

Unlikely to be beneficial

● Use humans to assist migrating amphibians across roads

Likely to be beneficial

Close roads during seasonal amphibian migration

1Two studies, including one replicated study, in Germany found that road closure sites protected large numbers of amphibians from mortality during breeding migrations. Assessment: likely to be beneficial (effectiveness 85%; certainty 50%; harms 0%).
http://www.conservationevidence.com/​actions/​842

Modify gully pots and kerbs

2One before-and-after study in the UK found that moving gully pots 10 cm away from the kerb decreased the number of great crested newts that fell in by 80%. Assessment: likely to be beneficial (effectiveness 80%; certainty 40%; harms 0%).
http://www.conservationevidence.com/​actions/​782

Trade-off between benefit and harms

Install barrier fencing along roads

3Seven of eight studies, including one replicated and two controlled studies, in Germany, Canada and the USA found that barrier fencing with culverts decreased amphibian road deaths, in three cases depending on fence design. One study found that few amphibians were diverted by barriers. Assessment: trade-offs between benefits and harms (effectiveness 65%; certainty 68%; harms 23%).
http://www.conservationevidence.com/​actions/​756

Install culverts or tunnels as road crossings

4Thirty-two studies investigated the effectiveness of installing culverts or tunnels as road crossings for amphibians. Six of seven studies, including three replicated studies, in Canada, Europe and the USA found that installing culverts or tunnels decreased amphibian road deaths. One found no effect on road deaths. Fifteen of 24 studies, including one review, in Australia, Canada, Europe and the USA found that tunnels were used by amphibians. Four found mixed effects depending on species, site or culvert type. Five found that culverts were not used or were used by less than 10% of amphibians. Six studies, including one replicated, controlled study, in Canada, Europe and the USA investigated the use of culverts with flowing water. Two found that they were used by amphibians. Three found that they were rarely or not used. Certain culvert designs were found not to be suitable for amphibians. Assessment: trade-offs between benefits and harms (effectiveness 60%; certainty 75%; harms 25%).
http://www.conservationevidence.com/​actions/​884

Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)

Use signage to warn motorists

5One study in the UK found that despite warning signs and human assistance across roads, some toads were still killed on roads. Assessment: unknown effectiveness — limited evidence (effectiveness 10%; certainty 10%; harms 0%).
http://www.conservationevidence.com/​actions/​841

Unlikely to be beneficial

Use humans to assist migrating amphibians across roads

6Three studies, including one replicated study, in Italy and the UK found that despite assisting toads across roads during breeding migrations, toads were still killed on roads and 64–70% of populations declined. Five studies in Germany, Italy and the UK found that large numbers of amphibians were moved across roads by up to 400 patrols. Assessment: unlikely to be beneficial (effectiveness 35%; certainty 40%; harms 3%).
http://www.conservationevidence.com/​actions/​784

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