Since the first wildlife crossings in South Korea was constructed in 1998 in Siamjae, Jirisan Mountain for connecting ecologies and helping with the movement of animals between habitats fragmented by roads, there have been some 500 wildlife crossings have been constructed for the last twenty years by various road management. Recently, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, as well as Korea Forest Service have announced a plan to construct additional 30 wildlife crossings in key fragmented habitats by 2023.
In this context, it is essential to analyse and evaluate the current status of the animal use in the existing wildlife crossings. The results of the efficiency evaluation will be very useful in the design and monitoring plan of wildlife crossings.
This study conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the frequency of the daily average use and the diversity of the species in 49 wildlife crossings that National Institute of Ecology(NIE) have been monitoring since 2014 with sensor cameras.
First, the frequency index was evaluated to be either insufficient, average, or good based on the average of the ratio between the frequency of appearance by wildlife crossings and the sum of the total days of monitoring. Next, the diversity index of the species were taken from the number of species that appeared in the wildlife crossings and the number of the mammal species that appeared in the map system in which the wildlife crossings are located, resulting from the Second ('97 - '05) and the Third ('06 - '13) 'National Natural Environment Survey'. I was regarded as the case in which the number of the species in the National Natural Environment Survey is identical to that of the species that appeared in the wildlife crossings. If it is larger than 1 (the latter is larger than the former), the diversity of the species was considered to be good, and if it is smaller than 1 (the former is larger than the latter), it was considered to be insufficient.
The analysis results showed that the frequency of the daily average use was 1.5, based on which "insufficient," "average," and "good" were 30.6%, 34.7%, and 34.7%, respectively, and as for the species diversity, "insufficient," "average," and "good" were 32.7%, 30.6%, and 36.7%, respectively. To select wildlife crossings with higher efficiency, the study identified the wildlife crossings in which both the frequency index and the species diversity were good, and the result showed that there were 9 such wildlife crossings(18%).
This study proposed to use both the frequency index and the species diversity as the criteria for evaluating the efficiency of wildlife crossings, and about 18% of the wildlife crossings monitored by NIE were shown to have higher efficiency than the rest. It is believed that the implementation of these results would contribute to the improvement of the efficiency of the wildlife crossings that are to be newly built.