Inhabiting nearby roads: an analysis of the relationship between the roadkilled mammals and their occurrence close to a highway in Southern Brazil




road ecology; forest fragmentation; road-effect zone; conservation biology; Atlantic Forest; linear infrastructure


The proximity to roads can change the richness, species composition and the abundance of individuals in the biological communities. Similarly, the number of individuals and the roadkilled species are influenced by the dynamics in the community around roads. The main goal of the study was to determine which species of medium and large-size mammals are more susceptible to roadkill and possible relationships with their ecological traits. The study was developed at the southern limit of the distribution of the Atlantic Forest, southern Brazil. Data collection was carried out for one year, from July 2018 to June 2019. We collected data about the richness and abundance of medium and large roadkilled mammals and in the forest fragments around BR153 road. We recorded a total of 15 species of medium and large-size mammals. The number of roadkills seems to reflect the number of records in the surrounding area, although it is not mandatory. The number of roadkills seems to be associated with a set of factors that increase the possibility of collision with vehicles. The ecological traits by themselves do not indicate an elevated chance of roadkill. The main factors that increase the chances of roadkill in the studied region are broad habitat use and the abundance in the surrounding areas. The ecological traits that decrease the likelihood of roadkills are related to the restricted use of forest fragments. Our data indicate that the capacity to move and occupy different environments, mainly associated with high abundance, increases the probability of roadkills.


Download data is not yet available.


Abra, F.D.; Huijser, M.P.; Magioli, M.; Bovo, A.A.A.; de Barros, K.M.P.M., 2021. An estimate of wild mammal roadkill in São Paulo state, Brazil. Heliyon, v. 7, (1), e06015.

Barbosa, P.; Schumaker, N.H.; Brandon, K.R.; Bager, A.; Grilo, C., 2020. Simulating the consequences of roads for wildlife population dynamics. Landscape and urban planning, v. 193, 103672.

Barrientos, R.; Ascensão, F.; D’Amico, M.; Grilo, C.; Pereira, H.M., 2021. The lost road: Do transportation networks imperil wildlife population persistence? Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation, v. 19, (4), 411-416.

Budke, J.C.; Alberti, M.S.; Zanardi, C.; Baratto, C.; Zanin, E.M., 2010. Bamboo dieback and tree regeneration responses in a subtropical forest of South America. Forest Ecology and Management, v. 260, 1345-1349.

Cáceres, N.C., 2011. Biological characteristics influence mammal road kill in an Atlantic Forest-Cerrado interface in south-western Brazil. Italian Journal of Zoology, v. 78, (3), 379-389.

Canale, G.R.; Peres, C.A.; Guidorizzi, C.E.; Gatto, C.A.F.; Kierulff, M.C.M., 2012 Pervasive defaunation of forest remnants in a tropical biodiversity hotspot. PLoS One, v. 7, (8), e41671.

Cirino, D.W.; Lupinetti-Cunha, A.; Freitas, C.H.; Freitas, S.R., 2022. Do the roadkills of different mammal species respond the same way to habitat and matrix? Nature Conservation, v. 47, 65-85.

Collinson, W.J.; Marneweck, C.; Davies-Mostert, H.T., 2019. Protecting the protected: reducing wildlife roadkill in protected areas. Animal Conservation, v. 20, (6), 396-403.

Emmons, L.H.; Feer, F., 1997. Neotropical rainforest mammals. A field guide. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Jaksic, F.M., 2023. Historical ecology and current status of the European hare Lepus europaeus in South America: a new species in new countries. Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment, v. 2023, 1-28.

Fahrig. L.; Rytwinski, T., 2009. Effects of roads on animal abundance: an empirical review and synthesis. Ecology and Society, v. 14, (1), 1-19.

Fernandes, N, Ferreira E.M.; Pita, R.; Mira, A.; Santos, S.M., 2022. The effect of habitat reduction by roads on space use and movement patterns of an endangered species, the Cabrera vole Microtus cabrerae. Nature Conservation, v. 47, 177-196.

Ferreguetti, A.C.; Graciano, J.M.; Luppi, A.P.; Pereira-Ribeiro, J.; Rocha, C.F.D.; Bergallo, H.G., 2020. Roadkill of medium to large mammals along a Brazilian road (BR-262) in Southeastern Brazil: spatial distribution and seasonal variation. Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment, v. 55, (3), 216-225.

Ferreira, E.M.; Valerio, F.; Medinas, D.; Fernandes, N.; Craveiro, J.; Costa, P.; Silva, J.P.; Carrapato, C.; Mira A.; Santos S.M., 2022. Assessing behaviour states of a forest carnivore in a road- dominated landscape using Hidden Markov Models. Nature Conservation, v. 47, 155-175.

Forman, R.T.T.; Sperling, D.; Bissonette, J.A.; Clevenger, A.P.; Cutshall, C.D.; Dale, V.H.; Fahrig, L.; França, R.; Goldman, C.R.; Heanue, K.; Jones, J.A.; Swanson, F.J.; Turrentine T.; Winter, T.C., 2003. Road Ecology Science and Solutions. Island Press, Washington.

Giné, G.A.F.; Duarte, J.M.B.; Motta, T.C.S.; Faria, D., 2012. Activity, movement and secretive behavior of threatened arboreal folivore, the thin-spined porcupine, in the Atlantic forest of southern Bahia. Brazil. Journal of Zoology, v. 286, 131-139.

Grilo, C.; Borda‐de‐Água, L.; Beja, P.; Goolsby, E.; Soanes, K.; Le Roux, A.; Koroleva, E.; Ferreira, F.Z.; Gagné, S.A.; Wang, Y.; González‐Suárez, M., 2021. Conservation threats from roadkill in the global road network. Global Ecology and Biogeography, v. 30, (11), 2200-2210.

Hartmann, P.A.; Hartmann, M.T.; Martins, M.R., 2011. Snake road mortality in a protected area in The Atlantic Forest Of Southeastern Brazil. South American Journal Of Herpetology, v. 6, 35-42.

Hill, J.E.; DeVault, T.L.; Belant, J.L., 2021. A review of ecological factors promoting road use by mammals. Mammal Review, v. 51, (2), 214-227.

Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade (ICMBIO), 2018. Livro Vermelho da Fauna Brasileira Ameaçada de Extinção: Volume II - Mamíferos. ICMBio, Brasília.

Marques, F.C.; Anjos, L., 2023. Differences in mammal communities between forest fragments and restoration areas in the Atlantic Forest. Austral Ecology, v. 48, (8), 1779-1796.

Medrano-Vizcaíno, P.; Grilo, C.; Silva Pinto, F.A.; Carvalho, W.D.; Melinski, R.D.; Schultz, E.D.; González-Suárez, M., 2022. Roadkill patterns in Latin American birds and mammals. Global Ecology and Biogeography, v. 31, 1756-1783.

Moore, L.J.; Petrovan, S.O.; Bates, A.J.; Hicks, H.L.; Baker, P.J.; Perkins, S.E.; Yarnell, R.W., 2023. Demographic effects of road mortality on mammalian populations: a systematic review. Biological Reviews, v. 2023, (98), 1033-1050.

O’Connell, A.; Nichols, J.D.; Karanth, K.U., 2011. Camera traps in animal ecology: Methods and analyses. Springer, New York.

Oliveira-Filho, A.T.; Budke, J.C.; Jarenkow, J.A.; Eisenlohr, P.V.; Neves, D.R., 2015. Delving into the variations in tree species composition and richness across South American subtropical Atlantic and Pampean forests. Journal of Plant Ecology, v. 8, (3), 242-260.

Parris, K.M., 2015. Ecological impacts of road noise and options for mitigation. In: Van Der Ree, R.; Smith, D.J.; Grilo, C. (Eds.), Handbook of road ecology. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, pp. 151-158.

Pessanha, L.A.; Ferreira, M.S.; Bueno, C.; Leandro, F.D.S.; Gomes, D.F., 2023. Danger under wheels: mammal roadkills in the threaten lowland Atlantic Forest in southeast Brazil. Iheringia. Série Zoologia, v. 113, e2023007.

Pinto, F.A.; Clevenger, A.P.; Grilo, C., 2020. Effects of roads on terrestrial vertebrate species in Latin America. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, v. 81, 106337.

Regolin, A.L.; Cherem, J.J.; Graipel, M.E.; Bogoni, J.A.; Ribeiro, J.W.; Vancine, M.H.; Tortato, M.A.; Oliveira-Santo, L.G.; Fantacini, F.M.; Luiz, M.R.; Castilho, P.V.; Ribeiro, M.C.; Cáceres, N.C., 2016. Forest cover influences occurrence of mammalian carnivores within Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Journal of Mammalogy, v. 98, (6), 1721-1731.

Rodrigues, D.P.; Konzen, M.Q.; Decian, V.S.; Hartmann, M.; Galiano, D.; Hartmann, P.A., 2022. Response of small mammal species to landscape metrics in a highly fragmented area in the Atlantic forest of southern Brazil. Mammalia, v. 86, (5), 455-463.

Rytwinski, T.; Fahrig, L., 2015. The impacts of roads and traffic on terrestrial animal populations. In: Van Der Ree, R.; Smith, D.J.; Grilo, C. (Eds.), Handbook of road ecology. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, pp. 237-246.

Secco, H.; da Costa, V.O.; Guerreiro, M.; Goncalves, P.R., 2022. Evaluating impacts of road expansion on porcupines in a biodiversity hotspot. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, v. 102, 103151.

Secco, H.; Farina, L.F.; da Costa, V.O.; Beiroz, W.; Guerreiro, M.; Gonçalves, P.R., 2024. Identifying roadkill hotspots for mammals in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest using a functional group approach. Environmental Management, v. 73, (2), 365-377.

Van Der Ree, R.; Smith, D.; Grilo, C., 2015. The ecological effects of linear infrastructure and traffic: challenges and opportunities of rapid global growth. In: Van Der Ree, R.; Smith, D.J.; Grilo, C. (Eds.), Handbook of road ecology. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, pp. 1-9.

Weber, M.M.; Roman, C.; Cáceres, N.C., 2013. Mamíferos do Rio Grande do Sul. Editora da UFSM, Santa Maria.




How to Cite

Konzen, M. Q., Rodrigues, D. P., Hartmann , M., Galiano , D., & Hartmann, P. (2024). Inhabiting nearby roads: an analysis of the relationship between the roadkilled mammals and their occurrence close to a highway in Southern Brazil. Revista Brasileira De Ciências Ambientais (RBCIAMB), 59, e1810.