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Hotspots and hotmoments of wildlife roadkills along a main highway in a high biodiversity area in Brazilian Amazonia

posted on 2023-01-24, 07:19 authored by Lício Mota da ROCHA, Clarissa ROSA, Helio SECCO, Edson Varga LOPES

ABSTRACT Wildlife roadkills have become a concern in the Amazon biome due to the opening of major roads in recent decades. In this study, we aimed to describe wildlife roadkills in a 100-km stretch of the BR-163 highway, in western Pará state, determining which vertebrate groups are most affected and whether there are spatial (hotspots) and temporal (hotmoments) aggregations of roadkills. From July 2019 to June 2020, we carried out 25 surveys at 15-day intervals, from a vehicle at a maximum speed of 40 km h-1. We recorded 351 individuals at an observed rate of 0.14 ind km-1 day-1. Despite their lower detectability and faster carcass removal rate from the road due to small size, most recorded roadkills were amphibians (0.066 ind km-1 day-1). We mapped several hotspots along the study stretch considering the total number of animals recorded, and separately for amphibians and reptiles. Multiple linear regression analyses indicated that the number of roadkills of all vertebrates, amphibians and reptiles recorded are influenced by temperature and precipitation. Information on places with the highest incidence of roadkills can support actions such as the installation of underpasses and fences, aimed at reducing the impacts on wild vertebrates of this Amazonian highway.