Steve Bega

Steve Bega

Abstract | Road mortality mitigation: The effectiveness of mesh fencing vs. Animex

Fencing is one of the most effective mitigation measures used to reduce road kill however, little research is known about what materials work best to exclude herpetofauna from roads and there are a lot of concerns surrounding the safety and effectiveness of mesh fencing. This research attempts to fill this gap of knowledge and evaluates the effectiveness of mesh and Animex fencing by investigating their suitability to be used as solutions to protect wildlife near roads.

This behavioural study explored the reactions of various herpetofauna when placed in an enclosure comprising two sides of steel mesh fencing (1/4 inch), and two sides of Animex. The activity that was recorded and compared during the observations included:

  1. Time spent within each fence zone
  2. Physical interactions with the fencing
  3. Climbing or escape attempts.

The results showed that the animal groups spent a greater proportion of time along the mesh fencing and all the animal groups attempted to escape the mesh fencing during more than twice as many trials as the Animex.

All species except Midland Painted Turtles successfully escaped the mesh fencing; however, none escaped the Animex. Based on behaviours exhibited by animals during the trials, mesh fencing could result in injury to herpetofauna.

As the goal of exclusion fencing is not only to keep animals off the road but also to funnel animals safely to wildlife crossing structures, this study recommends plastic solid barrier fencing such as Animex is the most appropriate material to be used as exclusion or drift fencing for the species studied.

This study shows that mesh fencing will hinder the funnelling of animals towards wildlife crossings or into adjacent habitat due to additional risk of injury, delay or escape created by the type material.


John Carlos Milburn-Rodríguez graduated from The University of Southampton with a Masters in Environmental Monitoring and has since worked in Europe and Canada on a diverse range of ecological monitoring and mitigation projects for numerous protected species.

Jeff Hathaway is the owner of Scales Nature Park and co-ordinates road mortality monitoring programs across Canada whilst simultaneously promoting education programs that emphasize the importance of wildlife conservation across the world.

Kari Gunson is a contract road ecologist and through her various projects she has provided expertise for design, placement, and monitoring of mitigation measures for a variety of large and small animal species including black bears, moose, deer, snakes, and turtles.

Dean Swensson leads a team of consultant ecologists in Europe who conduct ecological monitoring and implement mitigation measures for a comprehensive range of development projects. His experience has granted him the opportunity to collaborate with biologists across the globe to design and build effective mitigation products and solutions for various species.

Steve Béga is an international consultant ecologist whose experience in designing ecological mitigation solutions has enabled him to work alongside numerous GO’s and NGO’s across the world to implement effective solutions to safeguard a wide range of protected species.