Evaluating the Risks that Erosion Control Products Pose to Protected Species and Other Wildlife

Although many erosion control products (ECPs) are marketed as wildlife friendly, few assessments of the risk of such products to wildlife exist. Current knowledge focuses primarily on reptiles, specifically snakes, thus, the effects on other species such as terrestrial arthropods, mammals, or birds remains unknown. This research would provide evaluations on wildlife friendly ECPs from the Approved Product List (APL) based on their risk of wildlife entanglement. The research team's objectives are to (1) determine entanglement potential for different sizes and categories of animals in different products on APL, (2) evaluate the temporal window in which an erosion control blanket poses a risk to wildlife entanglement from pre-vegetative growth through post-vegetative growth, (3) determine which types of materials pose greater and lesser risk to protected species and other wildlife, (4) determine if weaving type or mesh size impacts entanglement, and (5) identify which products contain non-biodegradable materials. The research team will address these objectives through the integration of wildlife camera trapping, surveys of construction workers for observational data, and controlled field experiments. The research team will cross-reference species of concern within Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) districts with study results, to produce a region-specific list of rankings of ECPs and risk to wildlife specific to each district’s ecological region.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $310621
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Managing Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Project Managers:

    Kasberg, Katelyn

  • Performing Organizations:

    Tarleton State University

    1333 W. Washington
    Stephenville, TX  United States  76402

    The University of Texas at San Antonio

    One UTSA Circle
    San Antonio, TX  United States  78249
  • Principal Investigators:

    Mathewson, Heather

  • Start Date: 20230926
  • Expected Completion Date: 20250831
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01907069
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Texas Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 0-7194
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 6 2024 11:41AM