A peer-reviewed study of wildlife crossing structures used by grizzly bears has revealed usage patterns that may help re-connect populations and support conservation efforts. The Wildlife Society Bulletin has published “Road Mitigation is a Demographic Filter for Grizzly Bears,” by Adam Ford, Mirjam Barrueto, and WTI’s Tony Clevenger, based on research that investigated five crossing structure designs installed at 44 sites along the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National Park. Using both tracking data and camera images, the research team compared usage of the five types of structures between single bears and family groups of bears. While single bears used both tunnels and overpasses, grizzly females traveling with cubs showed a strong preference for overpasses. The study was featured last week on the University of British Columbia website and highlighted today on Science Daily. The full journal article is available in the online edition of the Wildlife Society Bulletin.
Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution has published “Performance of Arch-Style Road Crossing Structures from Relative Movement Rates of Large Mammals,” authored by A.Z. Andis (University of Montana/Yale University), Marcel Huijser of WTI, and Len Broberg (University of Montana). The team measured the movements of large mammal species at 15 wildlife underpasses on U.S. Highway 93 in Montana, documenting findings for several species including white-tailed deer, mule deer, black bear and coyote.
Citation: Andis AZ, Huijser MP and Broberg L (2017) Performance of Arch-Style Road Crossing Structures from Relative Movement Rates of Large Mammals. Front. Ecol. Evol. 5:122. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2017.00122
Fish passage research by a Bozeman-based team will soon be published in Northwest Science. The journal has accepted “Sprint Swimming Performance of Shovelnose Sturgeon in an Open-Channel Flume,” authored by Luke Holmquist of MSU’s Department of Ecology, Kevin Kappenman of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Matt Blank of WTI, and Matt Schultz. The article describes research in an outdoor experimental flume at the Bozeman Fish Technology Center. The sprint velocities from the laboratory study indicate that the swimming capability of shovelnose sturgeon has been previously underestimated. The results of this study provide data that might support design and analysis of fish passage projects for shovelnose sturgeon and other sturgeon species. For more information about fish passage research, visit the project page.
WTI safety researchers Ahmed Al-Kaisy, Levi Ewan, and graduate student Fahmid Hossain have published a study on safety improvements for low-volume roads. For “Economic feasibility of safety improvements on low-volume roads,” the research team investigated 27 safety improvements commonly used on high volume roads, and determined that appoximately half would also also be cost-effective to implement on roads with low traffic volumes.
Citation: Al-Kaisy, A., Ewan, L., and Hossain, F. (2017). Economic feasibility of safety improvements on low-volume roads. Journal of Transportation Safety and Security. Volume 9, Issue 3: pp 369-382.
Researchers from the Center for Health and Safety Culture have published a study in Transportation Research regarding driving under the influence of cannabis. “Cultural predictors of future intention to drive under the influence of cannabis (CUIC)” was authored by Nic Ward, Jay Otto, William Schell, Kari Finley and their research partners. In addition to identifying predictors, the article identifies strategies to address cultural perceptions about driving after using cannabis that may be effective in reducing these driving behaviors.
Citation: Ward, N., Otto, J., Schell, W., Finley, K., Kelley-Baker, T., and Lacey, J. (2017). Cultural predictors of future intention to drive under the influence of cannabis. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. Volume 49 (August): pp 215-225.
Researchers from WTI’s Winter Maintenance program have published “Corrosion of metals exposed to 25% magnesium chloride solution and tensile stress: Field and laboratory studies.” This case study investigated the corrosive effects of chemicals used for snow and ice control operations, to better understand the potential impact on transportation infrastructure and motor vehicles.
Citation: Shi, X., Zhou, G., and Muthumani, A. (2017). Corrosion of metals exposed to 25% magnesium chloride solution and tensile stress: Field and laboratory studies. Case Studies in Construction Materials, vol 7: pp 1-14.
Road Ecology Program Manager Rob Ament and colleagues in the MSU Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences will have an article published in the Spring 2017 edition of Native Plants Journal. “Native plants for roadside revegetation in Idaho” documents their field study to evaluate the success of sustainable roadside revegetation strategies on 16 sites in Idaho.
Citation: Ament, R., Pokorny, M., Mangold, J., and Orloff, N. (2017). Native plants for roadside revegetation in Idaho. Native Plants Journal, vol 8 (1): pp 4-19.
The Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences has published the journal article “Swimming Performance of Sauger Sander Canadensis in Relation to Fish Passage” on its website. The article, authored by David Dockery, Thomas MaMahon, Kevin Kappenman, and Matt Blank, discusses research to study the swimming abilities of sauger, a migratory species, in order to inform the design of fish passage strutures and help prevent habitat fragmentation for this species. The research is a collaboration among WTI, the MSU Department of Ecology, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, the journal of the Ecological Society of America, has published “Scaling-up camera traps: monitoring the planet’s biodiversity with networks of remote sensors,” which was co-authored by Tony Clevenger of WTI’s Road Ecology program, and 15 colleagues from the United States and Canada. The article documents the growth of remote-camera technology in environmental conservation, and proposes that integrating systems of camera networks on a global scale has the potential to advance many international biodiversity and ecosystem preservation goals.
Robin Steenweg, Mark Hebblewhite, Roland Kays, Jorge Ahumada, Jason T Fisher, Cole Burton,Susan E Townsend, Chris Carbone, J Marcus Rowcliffe, Jesse Whittington, Jedediah Brodie, J Andrew Royle, Adam Switalski, Anthony P Clevenger, Nicole Heim, and Lindsey N Rich. Scaling-up camera traps: monitoring the planet’s biodiversity with networks of remote sensors. Frontiers in Ecolology and the Environment 2017; 15(1): 26–34, doi:10.1002/fee.1448.