Talk Driver knowledge and attitudes on animal vehicle collisions in Northern Tanzania
  • John Kioko
    Bio statement : Dr. John Kioko,  teaches and conducts  research on various dimensions of wildlife in Tanzania. He has recently started road ecology work in Tanzania and Kenya in collaboration with partners from South Africa
    Country : TZ
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Roads are a major cause of wildlife mortality through animal-vehicle-collisions (AVCs). There is minimal understanding of driver knowledge and attitudes of drivers, yet there is increase in traffic in most wildlife range. We monitored the patterns and frequency of AVCs on two sections of a major highway in Northern Tanzania and compared these patterns to the knowledge and perceptions of drivers who frequently use the roads. While actual field survey showed that birds were mostly killed through AVCs; mammals were perceived by the drivers to be the most common AVC. Drivers were indifferent to whether AVCs were a major problem on the road, 67% strongly felt that AVCs were mainly accidental, either due to high vehicle speed or poor visibility at night. There was a negative correlation between the likelihood of a species being hit by vehicles and its average body mass. Only 35% of drivers said they had attended an educational program related to the impact of roads on wildlife. Our study highlights a need for collaborative efforts between the wildlife conservation and road department to educate vehicle drivers on the importance of driving responsibly and exercise due care for wildlife and human safety. This should be coupled with implementing effective mitigation structures so as to reduce the extent of AVCs.

Animal Vehicle Collisions (AVCs), Attitudes, Driver awareness, Mitigation, Roads