Wildlife at the crossroads: wild animal road kills due to vehicular collision on a mountainous highway in northwestern Himalayan region

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Muzaffar A. Kichloo
Asha Sohil
Neeraj Sharma


Wildlife mortality due to vehicular collision is well known across the world and the number of such incidences is steadily rising in Himalaya as well. To assess the quantum of wildlife road kills, we conducted an intensive survey spanning 33 months along a mountainous National Highway 244 in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. Forty-nine wild animal carcasses of 13 species of higher vertebrates were observed lying on the road, shoulders, edges, and valley slopes. These included seven mammals, four birds, and two reptiles. This survey, first of its kind in this part of the Himalaya would be helpful in understanding the underlying reasons of the rising wildlife fatalities on the hill roads, identifying susceptible hotspots, and developing measures to address this new threat to Himalayan wildlife. We recommend creating wildlife passages, raising speed halters, and placing warning signages in vulnerable sections to reduce the road-related wildlife mortality in such mountainous highways.

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