The Campo Grande-Corumbá Highway (BR-262) crosses a landscape/environment gradient between
cerrado lato sensu and the southern pantanal (Mato Grosso do Sul State) that shows several levels of
urbanization and large sections of pasture and native vegetation. The local diversity of fauna is high, and the
occurrence of vertebrate/vehicle collisions is very often. To detect the effects of BR-262 ... [Show full abstract] Highway on wildlife
mortality, data were collected about the incidence of road kills of animals within several types of environment
and landscape between may 1996 and november 1997. The list of 1,402 mammals, birds, reptiles and
amphibians killed by vehicles includes at least 84 species, six of which are endangered: the marsh-deer
Blastocerus dichotomus, the maned-wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus, the ocelot Felis pardalis, the jaguar
Panthera onca, the long-tail otter Lontra longicaudis, and the great anteater Myrmecophaga tridactyla. In 1990,
the road-kill rate was from 16,8 road kills per month, and in 1992, this rate increased to 30 road-kills/month/yr.
Actually, this rate reached up to 105 road-kills/month (03 deaths/day) at the end of this study (nov/97). Roadkills
were more frequent in the Pantanal area, the largest neotropical flood plain. There are many features on
the road landscape/environment distribution that could be affecting the road-kill rates. The border and the bank
of the highway maintain some kind of secondary "corridors" to fauna (e.g. marginal forest and/or ponds), that
could attract many species of vertebrates to the roadsides. Species diversity and distribution were mapped
along the highway to detect the animal mortality patterns. The relationship between road-kill frequency and
environment allowed me to recognize local conservation status, indicating the most important sites for wildlife
protection, and supporting pertinent discussion about fauna management approaches along BR-262 highway.
key-words: cerrado, conservation, endangered species, highway impacts, landscape ecology, pantanal, vertebrate mortality, wildlife management.