One of the leading causes of death for frogs, turtles and snakes is road mortality. A study in Denmark found that amphibians have a 34 to 61 percent chance of being struck when crossing a roadway, and slow-moving turtles in Florida had less than a 2 percent chance of surviving a road crossing.
It’s a serious issue for reptiles and amphibians in Rhode Island, too, and the Department of Environmental Management is beginning to plan strategies to mitigate the problem. But first, the agency wants to know the location of the hotspots of mortality.
That’s where University of Rhode Island graduate student Noah Hallisey comes in. He has created a computer model that factors in traffic volume, proximity to forests and wetlands, and distance to ponds and lakes to predict the likeliest locations of reptile and amphibian road mortality. MORE
Header image: Noah Hallisey.