Research Projects

Stop the Video

Research Projects

STATUS: Complete YEAR: 2017 TOPIC AREA: Safety and security Transportation planning, policy, and finance CENTER: PSR

Automated Analysis of Wildlife-Vehicle Conflict Hotspots Using Carcass and Collision Data

Project Summary

Funding source: US DOT

Funding amount: $133,041

Contract number: 69A3551747109

Start and end dates: October 1, 2017 to January 31, 2019


Project Description

States increasingly maintain databases of wildlife-vehicle conflict (WVC), including locations of carcasses and crashes involving animals. Once these data are collected, a common and expensive barrier before they can be used in safety and environmental planning is identification of "hotspots" of incidents (here defined as locations of high-rates and/or statistically-significant clusters). In this project, we developed a web-based analytical environment that state DOTs can use to automate certain analyses of WVC hotspots in order to inform planning to improve driver and wildlife safety. Specifically, we coordinated with staff from 3 states: Idaho, Nevada, and Maine, and used data that we had for California to develop the pilot automated hotspots analysis tool. We tested several methods for representing both density and statistically-significant clustering of WVC events. These were implemented in the statistical package R and driven by scripts that can operate in the project web-system. Testing was conducted using California data while other states prepared/delivered their data. We developed hotspots analyses for California, Maine, Idaho, and Nevada based upon their input. We prepared a web-system to operate the tool (, that DOT staff from 13 states used so far with their own data.


Link to project web system

Link to research brief on eScholarship 

Link to final report on eScholarship



Fraser Shilling
Co-Director, Road Ecology Center
1 Shields Ave
Davis, CA 95616
United States
[email protected]