Reducing Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions (WVC) through Changing Driver Behaviour in the Kruger National Park

I L Buthelezi, Endangered Wildlife Trust, Tshwane University of Technology
Wendy Collinson (Endanagered Wildlife Trust), Brain Reilly (Tshwane University of Technology)
Topic Area
Planning for Transportation Ecology

Reports from various social media platforms have indicated huge public concerns for wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVC) inside Kruger National Park. In 2018, we initiated an assessment of driver behaviour within Kruger National Park in order to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVC). Preliminary work undertaken in 2018 showed that traffic volumes and excessive speeding are problematic in the Kruger National Park. During the financial year (2016 / 2017), the record number of 1,817,724 guests entered Kruger National Parks access points. Early ecological studies stated that not more than 250 000 visitors should be allowed into the Kruger National Park annually to maintain the pressure on the environment at an acceptable level. The main goal of our project is to examine the effectiveness of road warning signage as a mitigation measure to reduce the rates of roadkill within the Kruger National Park. To investigate these, we shall place a dummy snake, and as a separate scenario, a vehicle monitoring device without dummy snake, on the H11 (Paved) and S3 (Unpaved) roads, as control scenarios. We will note whether the fake snake was either 'hit or missed' as well as the driver response (stop, slow down, swerve and no response), driver demographics (Gender/ Race), number of people in vehicle, vehicle type, and the average driving speed of the drivers. The scenarios will be repeated with the erection of temporary signage 100m in relation to the placement of the dummy snake, and the vehicle monitoring devices to enable us to assess how effective signage is at 'reminding' visitors to be vigilant to animals and their speed on the roads. We elected to use four types of signage to test driver response; the mandatory red triangle with a silhouette of an animal (Snake and Kudu), a photographic image (Snake), and camera image, 100 samples to be collected for each signage, in morning and afternoon sessions.

Abstract Keywords
Kruger National Park
Driver behaviour
Wildlife-warning signage