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Journal of Insect Conservation

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Butterflies -- Conservation -- Oregon, Oregon silverspot butterfly -- Ecology, Butterflies -- Habitat -- Conservation


Whereas roads that bisect habitat are known to decrease population size through animal-vehicle collisions or interruption of key life history events, it is not always obvious how to reduce such impacts, especially for flying organisms. We needed a quick, cost-efficient and effective way to determine how best to decrease vehicle-caused mortality while maintaining habitat connectivity for the federally listed Oregon silverspot butterfly, Speyeria zerene hippolyta. Therefore, we gathered targeted ecological information that informed selection of a mitigation option prior to implementation. We sampled butterfly behavior and environmental conditions along a highway and conducted a small-scale experiment along a decommissioned road corridor used by these butterflies. Using our findings, we recommended vegetation management and helped managers eliminate options they were considering that would be ineffective such as increasing shade or wind in the road, and installing fencing or hedgerows aimed at directing flight above traffic. This quick and inexpensive approach of using ecological observations and small-scale experiments to evaluate the likely success of each available mitigation option can be used to determine effective, species-specific solutions for reducing traffic impacts on pollinators and other small, flying organisms of conservation concern.


© Springer International Publishing Switzerland (outside the USA) 2016.

This work was authored as part of the Contributor's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.

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