ANALYSIS OF ACCIDENTS WITH WILD ANIMALS ON FORESTED ROAD SECTIONS IN ALYTUS, KAUNAS AND PANEVĖŽYS DISTRICTS 2019 - 2020
Keywords:accidents, road sections, animal species, habitats, forest felling, stand
Lithuania is a country dominated not only by farmland, but also by forests, which are home to a variety of large and small mammals. This landscape is fragmented by roads of varying intensity of use. The construction of roads through forests and farmers' fields endangers the natural habitats of animals and increases the likelihood of car collisions with wildlife. The roads in Alytus, Panevėžys and Kaunas districts were chosen for the study because of their diverse landscapes. The frequency of accidents with animals was investigated, the sections of the road where most accidents with animals occur were identified, the safety requirements on the road sections were assessed, the main animal species involved in accidents were identified, and the main factors contributing to accidents with animals on the roads were identified. This research involved the analysis of scientific literature, analysis of VMU data, analysis of data from the Lithuanian Road Directorate, visual assessment of the most accident-prone sections of the road, and a search for correlations between the surrounding landscape and the frequency of accidents. The analysis of the most accident-prone sections of the Alytus - 129, Panevėžys - A2 and Kaunas 140, 232 road sections showed that the highest number of accidents was recorded where farmers' fields and forest masses were evenly distributed. The main cause of road accidents involving animals is their migration from safe habitats in dense forests or scrubland to farmers' fields because their nutritional needs. Despite the fact that the European roe deer is the most adaptable of all ungulates to human activity, it has been found that it is unfortunately the most common species road casualty.