Home > Actions > C. Concrete Conservation Actions > C3 Installation of warning signs and deterrents for safer road network

Wildlife warning signs are used extensively to inform motorists of regions where the danger of wildlife collisions is high and aim to reduce the number and severity of collisions between wildlife and cars. Standard traffic signals are placed in areas where collisions often occur. They also exist for many species of wildlife. However the target species of the area is the brown bear (Ursus arctos L.), which is included in the Habitats Directive 92/43 Appendices as a priority for conservation species.

Deterrents such as wildlife warning reflectors (WWR) aim at keeping wildlife away from roads or railway lines in order to reduce the number of collisions. WWR is a visual wildlife warning device, was designed specifically to prevent accidents involving wildlife. In particular, the headlights of approaching vehicles strike wildlife reflectors installed on both sides of the road. Unnoticeable to the driver, these reflect light into adjoining areas and an optical warning fence is produced. Any approaching wildlife is alerted and stops or returns to the safety of the countryside. Immediately after the vehicle has passed, the reflectors become inactive, thereby permitting the animals to cross safely. Moreover the headlight of an approaching vehicle is deflected by WWR towards the roadside at dusk or night. This creates a constantly changing visual warning fence which prompts the wildlife to stop moving or to flee back into the countryside. The wildlife warning reflectors reflect the headlight towards the roadside only. There is therefore no risk of dazzling for the driver. Because of their innovative design, WWR is well suited for any type of terrain. The fact that WWR emits a wide cone-shaped beam of reflected light makes it suitable for use in flat and hilly areas alike. WWR is an economical alternative to wildlife fences and smell barriers and the materials used are resistant to environmental impacts, such as weather, road salt, high temperatures and exhaust fumes.

Action C3 will address around 4-5 km of county road network with high collision risk spots. Traffic volume, as well as construction of new roads and highways in NW Greece has an increasing impact on brown bear habitat connectivity and population status. This action targets brown bear (Ursus arctos*) and aims to minimize traffic accidents – road collisions. High incidence of wildlife–vehicle collisions can have significant impacts: increasing wildlife population mortality, influencing population demographics if there are age or sex biases in road mortality, reducing wildlife dispersal success, reducing gene flow between populations, animal welfare issues, causing human injury and occasionally fatalities, and the financial costs to society associated with human injury, vehicle damage, wildlife rehabilitation (for those that survive), and removal of animal carcasses.