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Title:Accounting for cloud cover and circannual variation puts the effect of lunar phase on deer–vehicle collisions into perspective
Authors:ID Cerri, Jacopo (Author)
ID Stendardi, Laura (Author)
ID Bužan, Elena (Author)
ID Pokorny, Boštjan (Author)
Files:URL URL - Source URL, visit
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MD5: 15A7910C4430849FFE15B5594E7A3879
Typology:1.01 - Original Scientific Article
Organization:Logo SciVie - Slovenian Forestry Institute
Abstract:Although several studies have focused on the influence of moonlight on deer–vehicle collisions, findings have been inconsistent. This may be due to neglect of the effects of cloud cover, a major impediment to moon illumination and circannual variation in both deer and human activity. We assessed how median cloud cover interacted with the illuminated fraction of the moon in affecting daily roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) roadkill in Slovenia (Central Europe). Data included nationwide roadkill (n = 49,259), collected between 2010 and 2019 by hunters, as required by law. Roadkill peaked under medium to high cloud cover and decreased during nights with low or extremely high cloudiness. This pattern was more pronounced on nights with a full moon. However, the effects of moon illumination and cloud cover had a lower predictive potential than circannual variation, as collisions clearly peaked in April/May, July and August/September. Our results suggest that moonlight could influence roe deer movements through compensatory foraging. However, on nights with a full moon, collisions could also be affected by weather. On bright nights, roe deer might be less active due to increased human presence and sustained vehicular traffic. Then, with medium to high cloud cover and also rainfall, human presence in the environment may be low enough to increase deer movements, but vehicular traffic can still be intermediate, maximizing the risk of collisions. Finally, with overcast skies, widespread rainfall can reduce both traffic volume and human outdoor activity, decreasing the risk of collisions. Moon illumination may indeed affect wildlife–vehicle collisions and roadkill, but its effects should be quantified as a function of cloud cover. Moreover, to make studies truly comparable, research about wildlife–vehicle collisions should also account for time of the year. Policy implications. Because collisions with roe deer peak at particular periods of the year, signs should be installed seasonally. By doing so, they would warn drivers about the risk, improve drivers' awareness and increase their safety. Moreover, as collisions also increase on nights with a full moon and overcast skies, interactive warning signs that are activated by ground illumination should also be useful.
Keywords:cloudiness, MODIS Surface Reflectance, moon, road ecology, roe deer, Slovenia, thin-plate splines, wildlife–vehicle collisions
Publication status:Published
Publication version:Version of Record
Year of publishing:2023
Number of pages:str. 1698-1707
Numbering:Vol. 60, iss. 8
PID:20.500.12556/DiRROS-17288 New window
ISSN on article:1365-2664
DOI:10.1111/1365-2664.14432 New window
COBISS.SI-ID:154098179 New window
Note:Nasl. z nasl. zaslona; Opis vira z dne 31. 5. 2023;
Publication date in DiRROS:16.11.2023
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Record is a part of a journal

Title:Journal of applied ecology
Shortened title:J. appl. ecol.
Publisher:Blackwell Science.
COBISS.SI-ID:517750553 New window

Document is financed by a project

Funder:ARRS - Slovenian Research Agency
Project number:V4-1825-2018
Name:Divjad v naseljih, na cestah in drugih nelovnih površinah: težave, izzivi in rešitve

Funder:ARRS - Slovenian Research Agency
Project number:V1-2031-2020
Name:Vpliv zveri na parkljarje: določitev vrstno specifične stopnje plenjenja in pomena za upravljanje prostoživečih velikih sesalcev v Sloveniji

Funder:ARRS - Slovenian Research Agency
Project number:P4-0107-2020
Name:Gozdna biologija, ekologija in tehnologija

Funder:ARRS - Slovenian Research Agency
Project number:P1-0386-2018
Name:Varstvena biologija od molekul do ekosistema

Funder:EC - European Commission
Funding programme:European Commission
Project number:101006386
Name:Science Transformation in EuroPe through Citizens involvement in HeAlth, coNservation and enerGy rEsearch


License:CC BY 4.0, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Description:This is the standard Creative Commons license that gives others maximum freedom to do what they want with the work as long as they credit the author.

Secondary language

Keywords:oblačnost, položaj lune, ekologija cest, srnjad, Slovenija, trki divjadi in vozil