Human-wildlife interactions in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Ninfa Negrete, Sara Ramirez, Robert Wong, Kathleen Wong
Transportation infrastructure, such as roads and highways, supports human activity but negatively affect wildlife habitat, populations, and entire ecosystems (Bennet et. al 2011). As road networks continue to expand, animals lose habitat and are confined to isolated fragments, with the possibility of being enclosed by roads. Road effects like habitat fragmentation is not well known in state parks. This study aims to examine some of the effects of road disturbance on wildlife in the Anza-Borrego
more » ... in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (ABDSP), the USA's second-largest park. This observational study was done using camera traps and road surveys to find carcasses and wildlife in order to examine wildlife movement in response to roads, as well as identify effects of varying types of roads (straightaways/ curves) and distance to water on wildlife encounters. Our results showed wildlife, specifically coyotes, are more active away from highway disturbance. Proximity to riparian habitats had no effect on wildlife encounters. A total of 18 roadkill data points and 23 wildlife sightings were recorded or obtained in the course of five days. Preventative measures to minimize roadkill incidents are possible by the addition of more speed limit and wildlife crossing signage as these are few around the state park. Future management plans might consider incorporating overpasses or rerouting roads once hotspots within ABDSP can be identified with a more robust roadkill database.
doi:10.21973/n3k95k fatcat:aeq5eesdh5fojfzmkdp5msfsmm