Road Ecology

WTI’s Road Ecology program provides national leadership in understanding the interaction between roads, natural resources and the ecological environment. The solutions we develop and implement address concerns of road ecology including wildlife migration near highways and animal-vehicle collisions.

All Ongoing Projects

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21 Projects

Mapping the Wolverine Way: Identifying Conservation Corridors and Transboundary Linkages in the Canadian Crown of the Continent Region

Started October, 2016

The objectives of this project are to conduct a survey of wolverine occurrence in the Canadian Crown of the Continent (CCoC) using noninvasive methods; develop occupancy models of wolverine distribution to identify core habitats, dispersal corridors, and highway mitigation; and estimate wolverine density in Canadian Rocky and Columbia Mountains.. .

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Federal Lands Wildlife-Vehicle Collision Data Coordination

Started September, 2016

The goal of the project is to facilitate Federal Land Management Agency (FLMA) coordination, specifically between the National Park Service (NPS) and US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), for collecting, storing, mapping, sharing, and analyzing Wildlife Vehicle Collision (WVC) data, in coordination with surrounding transportation networks and entities.. .

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Federal Lands Wildlife-Vehicle Collision Data Coordination

Started September, 2016

The goal of the project is to facilitate Federal Land Management Agency (FLMA) coordination, specifically between the National Park Service (NPS) and US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), for collecting, storing, mapping, sharing, and analyzing WVC data, in coordination with surrounding transportation networks and entities.
 . .

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ARC Solutions Technology Transfer Initiative

Started July, 2015

The objective of this project is to educate and engage science and engineering professionals working in conservation, natural resources, and transportation in order to build support for the development of innovative wildlife crossings.. .

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Fish Passage Research

Started March, 2015

The purpose of this research project is to increase knowledge and understanding of factors influencing the design and operation of fish passages to improve landscape connectivity, which has been fragmented by instream physical barriers to fish movement.. .

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21 Projects

Completed Projects

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137 Projects

Evaluating Measures to Minimize Blanding's Turtle Road Mortality Along Nebraska Highways

Started April, 2016

The final report summarizes the evaluation of the effectiveness of existing turtle fences through collecting and analyzing turtle mortality data along U.S. Hwy 83, in and around Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, Nebraska, USA. The report also discusses the investigation of the level of connectivity for turtles provided through the culverts that were originally designed to pass water through a capture-mark-recapture experiment

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Mapping the Wolverine Way

Started November, 2014

The objective of this project is to understand the effects of human activity on wolverine distribution, connectivity and gene flow in the southern Canadian Rockies.. .

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Evaluation of Effectiveness and Cost-Benefits of Woolen Roadside Reclamation Products

Started February, 2014

This research project developed three types of products for study: woolen erosion control blankets (ECBs), wool incorporated into wood fiber compost at a 40:1 ratio (compost to wool, by weight), and wool incorporated into silt fence. The project compared the wool products’ performance to roadside reclamation products commonly used for revegetating cut slopes: straw/coconut (coir) ECB, wood fiber compost and woven plastic silt fence.

The two best performing treatments (i.e

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Development of a Sustainable Strategy Supporting Transportation Planning and Conservation Priorities Across the West

Started September, 2013

Featured content of the final report includes:
 results from a questionnaire on transportation professionals’ use of Crucial Habitat Assessment Tools (CHATs) and other state wildlife data;
 best practices for using CHATs and other digital wildlife data to integrate the needs of fish and wildlife into transportation plans, programs and projects;
 a matrix of opportunities to expand the use of CHATs and other digital wildlife data by transportation professionals; and
 a description of how CHATs intersect with Eco-Logical, FHWA’s ecosystem-based approach to transportation planning.. .

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Assessing Feasibility of Mitigating Barn Owl - Vehicle Collision in Southern Idaho

Started August, 2013

The final report summarizes research designed to understand the spatial, road geometric, and biotic (land cover and prey) factors associated with barn owl-vehicle collisions and examine feasibility of mitigation. It provides a literature review of barn owl road mortality and mitigation approaches from North America and Europe. The greatest rates of mortality along I-84 occurred between Bliss and Hazelton, Idaho

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Construction Guidelines for Wildlife Fencing and Associated Escape and Lateral Access Control Measures

Started June, 2013

The final report describes the current state of knowledge and practice regarding the design, implementation and maintenance of wildlife fencing and associated escape and lateral access control measures. The main function of wildlife fencing is to keep wildlife off the highway, but wildlife fencing also helps funnel wildlife to safe crossing
opportunities (at-grade, underpasses or overpasses). It is considered good practice to not increase the barrier effect of roads and traffic for wildlife without also providing for safe and effective crossing opportunities for wildlife

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Oyu Tolgoi Roads and Wildlife Mitigation in the Gobi Desert

Started February, 2013

Recommendations in the final report focus on measures aimed at providing safe crossing opportunities for wildlife, particularly for desert ungulates. The research teamreviewed available documents and literature, visited the OT mine site and surrounding OT roads in February, 2013, and had numerous discussions with experts in the region and OT staff and consultants. This, with the team’s prior expertise in mitigating wildlife impacts of roadways, was used to develop the final report, which contains a summary of the current status of wildlife impacts of the OT roads and planned mitigations, a review of the most promising mitigations and mitigations previously proposed for the OT roads and a set of recommendations specific to wildlife crossing structures on the OT-GS Road

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Procedures and Tools for Wildlife-Vehicle Collision Hotspot Analyses; Using Caltrans District 10 as an Example

Started February, 2013

The final report contains a stepwise approach for the identification and prioritization of large mammal crash hotspots and large mammal carcass hotspots. Mule deer crash and mule deer carcass data from Caltrans District 10 were used as an example. The mule deer crash and mule deer carcass hotspots were ranked based on human safety, nature conservation, and economic parameters

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Evaluation of Deer-Vehicle Collision Rate in West Virginia and a Review of Available Mitigation Techniques

Started January, 2013

WTI compiled a final report providing a summary of DVC mitigation measures and funding mechanisms, including specific mitigation recommendations for West Virginia. The report evaluates various transportation metrics for normalizing state-by-state DVC estimates generated by State Farm insurance for national ranking purposes, including the rural and urban components of the metrics..

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Native Plants for Roadside Revegetation: Influences on Slope Stabilization, Erosion, and Sediment Control and Prevention of Weed Encroachment

Started June, 2012

The final report provides practical information for improving roadway revegetation in Idaho. The overall objective was to monitor vegetation and soil attributes to determine effective means for establishing perennial native vegetation, reducing surface erosion, and preventing weed encroachment. The results provide guidance and recommendations on species selection, seeding methods and site preparation techniques

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Evaluating Wildlife-Vehicle Collision and Habitat Connectivity in the Madison Valley, Montana

Started April, 2012

As described in the final report, all data gathered were analyzed in the context of highway safety, infrastructure, wildlife use, habitat, and connectivity linkage zones, with special attention paid to ungulates and forest carnivores. A major outcome of this project was a GIS database of the study area that has the potential to help the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) and other agencies increase efficiency and effectiveness of transportation and natural resource planning. The fina report presents the results of temporal and spatial analyses of wildlife road mortality data and animal use patterns and exploratory models examining the drivers of carcass locations in the vicinity of the highways

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Assessing the Carbon Sequestration Potential of Roadsides and Roadside Revegetation

Started August, 2011

As described in the final report, the research team's estimate of roadside acreage available for CCS relied on the concept of the “road effect zone” (REZ), an area defined as 50 m from unpaved roads and 100 m from paved roads. Based on this definition, the team estimated that there are over 17 million acres within the REZ that are available for CCS. To estimate the potential carbon uptake within this area, the team relied on measurements of net carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange from a large sample of globally distributed eddy covariance towers arrayed according to functional vegetation types

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ROCS, Phase 4 - UTC

Started July, 2011

The objective of this fourth phase of the Roadkill Observation Collection System (ROCS) project will be to implement the PDA based version of ROCS from Phase 3 on a Google Android –based smart-phone.. .

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ARC Technology Transfer Initiative - UTC

Started April, 2011

The objective of this initiative is to build on the momentum of the ARC competition and its message: New Methods-New Materials-New Thinking by inspiring transportation and natural resource communities and the next generation of practitioners through a series of activities over the course of twelve months. This initiative intends to acknowledge the virtues of the winning design while celebrating the promising ideas of all finalist designs. It also strives to keep innovation at the forefront of our collective thinking about wildlife crossing structure design.

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Passage in Plains and Prairie Waterways and Predicting Fish Response to Climate Change

Started December, 2010

The objective of this research is to construct flumes and swim chambers for testing swimming performances of large and small bodied fish species, as well as construct a spawning channel for physiological assessments. In addition, using the newly constructed facilities, the project will characterize swimming performance of shovelnose sturgeon, rainbow trout and westslope cutthroat and evaluate the effect of temperature on swimming performance.

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Carnivore Mortality and Movements On and Across the Transportation Corridors, Jasper National Park and Mount Robson Provincial Park

Started December, 2010

Jasper National Park (JNP) and Mount Robson Provincial Park (MRPP), located in the Canadian Rockies, are home to numerous species of large animals, including coyotes, wolves and bears. The Trans Mountain Legacy Fund – which was put in place to improve the ecological integrity of the parks – identifies, prioritizes, and sponsors projects that meet the objectives of the fund. The objective of this project is to identify mitigation efforts that will help reduce collisions, particularly with carnivores, and preserve habitat connectivity across the roads and railroads in the parks, with a focus on Highway 16 and the railroad that more or less parallels Hwy 16

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US 93 Post-Construction Wildlife-Vehicle Collision and Wildlife Crossing Monitoring Research

Started January, 2010

WTI will implement a five year post-construction monitoring plan in conjunction with the Salish Kootenai Confederated Tribes to measure the effects of over 40 wildlife crossings and fencing on the following two parameters: 1) wildlife-vehicle collisions and 2) wildlife movements across US Highway 93.

The objective of this project is to conduct post-construction monitoring of the wildlife mitigation efforts on US 93, and conduct an analysis of their effectiveness. The research centers on the benefits for human safety, habitat connectivity for wildlife, and a cost-benefit analysis.


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Burrowing Mammal Impacts on Paved Highways, Phase 1

Started January, 2010

WTI conducted surveys, interviews, and site visits to determine the extent and nature of burrowing mammal-caused roadbed damage and associated mitigation methodologies.

The objective of Phase I of this study is to characterize the nature and extent of burrowing mammal damage to paved roadways around the state of Montana..

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Evaluation of Swimming Performance of Rainbow Trout and Westslope Cutthroat Trout for Assessment and Design of Fish Passage Structures

Started August, 2009

The primary objective of this research is to determine scientifically valid, volitional swimming abilities of westslope cutthroat trout and rainbow trout that reside in the Rockies Ecosystem.

WTI is evaluating the swimming performance of wild rainbow and westslope cutthroat trout for assessment and design of fish passage structures for highways and roads. The study involves constructing a large-scale research flume and performing fish swimming trials to determine swimming performance - fundamental biological information that current models and designs do not have..

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National Scan of Best Practices for Road Dust Control and Soil Stabilization

Started August, 2009

The purpose of the National Scan is to examine programs and practices employed by different governmental agencies and contractors that result in effective dust control and/or soil stabilization on unpaved roads. The driving force behind this scan is that road dust and/or the additives used in its control pose a myriad of health, safety, economic, regulatory, and environmental challenges..

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Camelina Evaluation for Soil Amendment

Started May, 2009

The objective of this project is to explore the potential uses of Camelina meal (Camelina sativa) for roadside applications, incorporated as a soil amendment or spread topically, to enhance native vegetation establishment and growth for highway reclamation projects.. .

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The I-70 Eco-Logical Field Test

Started February, 2009

The objective of this project is to assist the Center for Native Ecosystems (CNE) with developing a wildlife mortality and habitat connectivity monitoring and evaluation program, and with developing a mitigation plan for the I-70 Corridor in Colorado from Evergreen to Glenwood Springs in portions of the Clear creek, Blue River and Gore Creek Watersheds.. .

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Carnivores and Connectivity in the Cascades

Started October, 2008

WTI worked with the US Forest Service, US National Park Service, WSDOT, and others to assess habitat connectivity and the impact of landscape fracture zones on carnivore populations within and between the I-90, US Route 2, and State Highway 20 transportation corridors.. .

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Evaluation of Wildlife Mitigation Measures Along US Hwy 93

Started April, 2008

Study the effectiveness of eleven wildlife underpasses, 29 jump-outs and two wildlife guards (equivalent to cattle guards) in terms of wildlife movements and wildlife/vehicle collisions on U.S. Highway 93 near Ravalli, Montana. In addition, the effectiveness of other, more isolated, wildlife crossing structures and shorter fencing on other locations along U.S

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Developing a Regional Ecosystem Framework for Terrestrial and Aquatic Resources along the I-70 Corridor, Colorado

Started March, 2008

The objective of this project is to assist the Center for Native Ecosystems (CNE) with developing a wildlife mortality and habitat connectivity monitoring and evaluation program, and developing a mitigation plan for the I-70 Corridor in Colorado from Evergreen to Glenwood Springs in portions of the Clear creek, Blue River and Gore Creek Watersheds.. .

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American Wildlands Road Watch

Started September, 2007

Modification of wildlife reporting system for use by American Wildlands on the Bozeman Pass area of U.S. Interstate Highway 90 between Bozeman, Montana, and Livingston, Montana..

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PDA Data Collection Package

Started August, 2007

Develop hands-free electronic data collection and reporting equipment and procedures to replace hand-written methods for Emergency Relief for Federally Owned (ERFO) Roads Damage Site Reports (DSRs), bridge inspections and field surveys.. .

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Redding Responder, Phase 2

Started June, 2006

To evaluate and prepare for full corporate deployment of the Responder System, an at-scene incident information collection, sharing, and incident support information framework for remote rural areas.. .

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Bozeman Pass Wildlife Linkage and Highway Safety Pilot Study

Started February, 2003

The goals of this study are to address the question of whether or not fences and cattle guards are effective at a) reducing the number of animal-vehicle collisions, and b) re-directing animal movement patterns through existing highway ‘crossing’ structures (e.g., road and railroad bridges and culverts). The proposed study will continue to document the location of animal-vehicle collisions, locations of highway crossings by animals both over the highway and through existing ‘crossing’ structures, and locations of attempted crossings..

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Evaluation of Wildlife Crossing Structures on U.S. Highway 93 Evaro to Polson

Started March, 2002

Phase I of this long-term project involves finalizing the research methodologies and collecting the baseline pre-construction data that will be needed to determine what effect US 93’s reconstruction installation of 42 wildlife crossing structures and fencing in 56 miles of highway have on the frequency of animal-vehicle collisions and successful animal crossings, and to ultimately identify best management practices for future wildlife crossing structure and fencing deployments.. .

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ARTEMIS Clearinghouse

Started September, 2000

The objective of ARTEMIS is to develop a database that allows other universities, transportation professionals, and interested individuals access to a complete reference source focused on animal-vehicle collisions and mitigation options.. .

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ARC Solutions, International

Started January, 1970

WTI is leading a diverse partnership that encourages the best and most innovative interdisciplinary designs for wildlife crossing structures throughout North America and beyond. In 2014, two workshops and a policy paper will focus on new directions that encourage wildlife crossing deployment, including a review the design parameters for crossings that may be adjusted to reduce costs without decreasing their effectiveness. Online at:

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Northwest Montana Grizzly Bear Corridors and Roads Evaluation

Started January, 1970

Working with the Sonoran Institute and the Center for Large Landscape Conservation, WTI is seeking to demonstrate to transportation and natural resource planners locations where exurban growth and increases in traffic demand and transportation infrastructure in the next 20 years have the greatest potential to impinge upon wildlife habitat connectivity for forest carnivores in two counties of northwest Montana. .

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Monitoring the Chadbourne Diversion Fish Barrier

Started January, 1970

WTI, in a partnership with Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, is monitoring a newly constructed irrigation diversion on the Shields River in Montana. The structure was designed to improve water withdrawal and to act as an upstream fish barrier to protect native Yellowstone cutthroat trout from non-native trout species. An important product from this research will be an evaluation of existing hydraulic models used to design diversion structures and fish barriers, and the development of a preferred modeling approach for future diversion and fish barrier design

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A Science-Based Decision Support Tool for Prioritizing Mitigation of Road Impacts on Wildlife Corridors

Started January, 1970

Working with the MT Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, MDT, Idaho Fish and Game Department, Idaho Transportation Department and the Center for Large Landscape Conservation, this project aims to provide large landscape practitioners of the U.S. Northern Rockies with a decision support tool for prioritizing conservation action to mitigate road impacts on regional wildlife corridors identified by the state wildlife agencies in the U.S. Northern Rockies

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A Review of Wildlife-Highway Conflicts on US Highway 89 through the National Elk Refuge, Wyoming

Started January, 1970

WTI will evaluate US Highway 89/191/26 between Jackson and Gros Ventre Junction for potential wildlife mitigation sites and measures. The transportation corridor consists of a highway and a paved trail for bicyclists and pedestrians. The road borders the refuge for 5.7 miles and an impermeable wildlife fence is situated between the transportation corridor and the refuge along this section.

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137 Projects

Program Overview

To succeed, our program works to ensure:

State-of-the-art science is applied in the development and restoration of surface transportation systems across the nation;
Transportation policies are developed and programmatically applied to protect the environment;
Road ecology is an established multidisciplinary academic field at Montana State University and other higher education institutions;
Environmentally sound transportation systems are recognized by society as an important component of America’s quality of life.

DEFINITION: Road ecology is the study of the complex interaction between roads and the environment over scales of space and time.

About the Road Ecology Program

In 2001, the Western Transportation Institute launched “Transportation Systems–Wildlife Ecology Interactions” as a research focus area to reflect our growing interest and expertise in the field of road ecology. The program expanded further, beginning in 2005, to include wildlife, aquatic, landscape and plant ecology. We have nine staff dedicated to exploring a diversity of solutions for reducing the impacts of highways on the natural environment.

Today, the Road Ecology Program strives to develop and implement science-based solutions through:

Research, so that state-of-the-art science is applied in the development and restoration of transportation systems across the nation.
Education, to put into action courses, seminars, curricula, programs, and research opportunities for students in higher education, as well as K-12.
Outreach and technology transfer, to share our research findings and expertise with transportation professionals, allied agencies, the private sector, and other constituencies interested in reducing the impacts of surface transportation systems on nature.
Communications, to assure environmentally sound transportation systems are recognized by society as an important component of America’s quality of life.

Our Staff
Our News

70 News Posts

Marcel Huijser Presents at Two Western Wildlife Forums

Posted on March 12th, 2018

Marcel Huijser WTI Research Scientist Marcel Huijser was on the road in February, speaking at two major regional wildlife events in Colorado and California.  On February 8, he was invited to give the keynote address (“Road Ecology, are we taking the right turns?”) at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Colorado Chapter of the Wildlife Society.  On February 21, he spoke at the “Bridges and Biology” workshop hosted by the California Department of Transportation, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). View Full News Post »

Global Tiger Forum Invites Rob Ament to India

Posted on March 5th, 2018

In February, Road Ecology Program Manager Rob Ament participated in a five day Road Ecology workshop in Nagpur, Maharashtra, India, entitled “Capacity Building in Designing Mitigation Measures along Linear Infrastructure in Tiger Landscapes.”  Rob gave seven presentations at the event, where attendees from India, Nepal, and the U.S. View Full News Post »

New Wildlife Overpass Planned for Trans-Canada Highway (TCH)

Posted on February 5th, 2018

WTI Research Scientist Tony Clevenger was interviewed by the Rocky Mountain Outlook last week about a new wildlife overpass near Canmore, Alberta and Banff National Park.  In “Plans for new TCH overpass in the works,” Clevenger discusses the role of wildlife overpasses in reconnecting grizzly bear populations, which is critical for the long-term viability of the species.  The article also highlights Clevenger’s work with colleague Adam Ford to study the wildlife crossing structures in Banff for 17 years, research which revealed grizzly bear travel patterns and the types of crossing structures which are most effective. View Full News Post »

MDT Research Newsletter Profiles Three WTI Projects

Posted on February 5th, 2018

WTI research is prominently featured in the new issue of Solutions, the research newsletter of the Montana Department of Transportation.  Three recently completed projects are profiled in feature articles: “Prefabricated Steel Truss/Bridge Deck Systems.” This study was a WTI and MSU Civil Engineering project led by Damon Fick, Tyler Kuehl, Michael Berry, and Jerry Stephens. View Full News Post »

WTI’s Rob Ament Travels to Kenya

Posted on January 29th, 2018

Earlier this month, WTI Road Ecology Program Manager, Rob Ament, traveled to Nairobi, Kenya for the first African meeting of the Transport Working Group (TWG).  Formed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group (CCSG), the TWG provides guidance on strategies that avoid, minimize, mitigate or compensate for the impacts of surface transportation systems on wildlife connectivity.  The TWG is mobilizing road ecologists and transport professional around the world to develop connectivity-minded infrastructure development guidelines for governments and development banks to adopt. View Full News Post »

MSU Highlights WTI’s Wildlife Research in Banff National Park

Posted on January 22nd, 2018

Elk approaches wildlife underpass in Banff National Park (courtesy of Tony Clevenger) Montana State University News Service interviewed three WTI researchers for an in-depth article on WTI’s “influential research” on reducing wildlife vehicle collisions.  “MSU’s Western Transportation Institute featured for research on wildlife crossings” is currently on the MSU website and was highlighted on the home page last week.  Tony Clevenger was interviewed regarding his 17 years of research in Banff National Park, which has documented the effectiveness of the wildlife overpasses on the Trans-Canada Highway. View Full News Post »

Posted in: In The News

Tony Clevenger Radio Interview on Innovative Wildlife Research Techniques

Posted on January 22nd, 2018

WTI Research Scientist Tony Clevenger was interviewed by WHYY radio in Canada regarding his 17-year research project to evaluate the wildlife crossing structures in Banff National Park.  The discussion highlighted the research techniques used to determine which animals were using the crossing structures; these techniques included animal tracks, hair traps, and remote wildlife cameras. The entire audio interview is available on the WHYY website. View Full News Post »

Canadian Geographic Marks 20-year Anniversary of Banff Wildlife Overpasses

Posted on December 19th, 2017

November 2017 marked the 20th anniversary of the first wildlife overpass in Banff National Park.  Since then, several dozen crossing structures have been installed as part of the reconstruction of the Trans-Canada Highway, which passes through the park.  Canadian Geographic has published an extensive feature article on the development of the crossings, with a focus on how effective they have been in reducing animal vehicle collisions by approximately 80%. View Full News Post »

Crossing Structures for Grizzly Bears: Which ones are the most “Family Friendly”?

Posted on November 27th, 2017

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. View Full News Post »

New Report Available on Animal Detection Systems

Posted on November 6th, 2017

The Center for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation in Cold Climates (CESTiCC) has released "The Reliability and Effectiveness of a Radar-Based Animal Detection System." This final is based on research by WTI Research Scientist Marcel Huijser and international colleagues at the University of SÃo Paulo, Brazil. The project studied the reliability and effectiveness of an animal detection system along U. View Full News Post »

Northwest Science to Publish Sturgeon Swimming Research

Posted on October 16th, 2017

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. View Full News Post »

Posted in: Journal Article

Clevenger Presents at Mexico's First Road Ecology Workshop

Posted on October 9th, 2017

Tony Clevenger (left) at the first national road ecology workshop in Mexico. The Mexican Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes (National Transportation Department) sponsored its first national Road Ecology workshop in Hermosillo, Senora, Mexico in early October. WTI Research Scientist Tony Clevenger was one of three presenters invited to lead this inaugural forum. View Full News Post »

Wolverine Research Published in Ecology and Evolution

Posted on October 2nd, 2017

Ecology and Evolution has published an article on threats to wolverine populations, which was co-authored by WTI researcher Tony Clevenger.  “Cumulative effects of climate and landscape change drive spatial distribution of Rocky Mountain wolverine” describes research in the Canadian Rockies that used camera trapping, genetic tagging, and modeling to investigate whether the interaction of climate change and landscape change may result in declining populations of wolverines. Citation: Heim N, Fisher JT, Clevenger A, Paczkowski J, Volpe J. View Full News Post »

National Public Policy Center Invites WTI Road Ecologist

Posted on October 2nd, 2017

In late September, Research Scientist Tony Clevenger was invited to speak at the Howard H. Baker Jr Center for Public Policy.  Located at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the Baker Center holds nationally prominent events pertaining to the Center’s three areas of focus: Energy & Environment, Global Security, and Leadership & Government. View Full News Post »

Posted in: Presentation

Road Ecologists Author Book Chapter on Wildlife Crossings

Posted on September 18th, 2017

WTI Road Ecology Program Manager Rob Ament and colleagues Renee Callahan and Hannah Jaicks (both of the Center for Large Landscape Conservation) authored a chapter in the recently published book Biological Conservation in the 21st Century: A Conservation Biology of Large Wildlife.  Their chapter is entitled ”Crossroads Conservation: Identifying Solutions to the Cultural Barriers of Transportation Agencies so Internal Champions of Wildlife Crossings Can Thrive,” and summarizes similarities and differences among states regarding their approach to wildlife crossings.  It includes results of Hannah Jaicks post-doc work interviewing department of transportation personnel in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming on barriers to building wildlife crossings. View Full News Post »

Posted in: Publication

On the Road to Brazil: WTI Researcher teaches University Course in Sao Paulo

Posted on September 18th, 2017

WTI Road Ecologist Marcel Huijser continues to partner with colleagues in Brazil on both research and academic projects.  In August, he taught a weeklong course at the University of Sao Paulo (USP) on “Road Ecology and the Conservation of Biodiversity.” His students are studying Wildlife Ecology, Management and Conservation in the Forest Science Department at USP. View Full News Post »

Native plants for roadside revegetation in Idaho

Posted on August 27th, 2017

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. View Full News Post »

Road Ecology Researchers Lead Public Meeting in Wyoming

Posted on August 7th, 2017

Marcel Huijser and Rob Ament traveled to Jackson, Wyoming on July 19, 2017 to collect public feedback on a proposed wildlife plan for Teton County.  WTI is leading the development of a Wildlife Crossings Master Plan for the county, which will propose strategies for reducing the impacts of roads on wildlife that live in or migrate through the area.  At the meeting, Marcel (Principal Investigator) and Rob presented preliminary findings, such as the collision hotspots identified, as well as a number of potential solutions, such as overpasses, underpasses, sensors, and improved lighting. View Full News Post »

Posted in: Outreach, Presentation

Canadian News Outlet Highlights WTI Wildlife Report

Posted on July 24th, 2017

The Londoner, a news website out of London, Ontario cited WTI research in a story about the threats that highways pose to vulnerable wildlife. In “Highway Perils,” author Jenna Hunnef discusses the potential benefits of wildlife crossing structures: “Some may question the financial feasibility of such projects, but the numbers don’t lie: a 2008 report by the Western Transportation Institute estimates that the total annual cost of wildlife-vehicle collisions is over $8 billion in the United States alone.” Read the full article here. View Full News Post »

Posted in: In The News

Wool Blankets for Erosion Control: Research Highlighted in International Publication

Posted on July 24th, 2017

Environmental Connection, the magazine of the International Erosion Control Association, published a feature article about Rob Ament’s wool research in its July 2017 issue.  “Bullish for Wool: Using Wool in Erosion Control Blankets Shows Promising Results in Montana Study” summarizes the results of a project funded by the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) and the Center for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation in Cold Climates (CESTTiCC). The goal of the field study was to conduct a side-by-side comparison of the performance of wool products with the performance of more commonly used roadside reclamation products (straw/coir ECBs and wood fiber compost). View Full News Post »

Posted in: Publication

MSU Extension Highlights Roadside Vegetation Research

Posted on July 10th, 2017

Using native plants for roadside revegetation is the lead story in the “Weed Post,” a monthly newsletter by the Montana State University Extension Office and the Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign.  The article describes successful research by Rob Ament (WTI), Monica Pokorny (Natural Resources Conservation Service), Noelle Orloff (MSU) and Jane Mangold (MSU), which demonstrated that establishing diverse, perennial plant communities on roadsides is a sustainable technique that helps to manage noxious weeds and other invasive plants.  This project was funded by the Idaho Department of Transportation. View Full News Post »

Posted in: In The News, News

Fish Passage Research Highlighted at National and International Forums

Posted on June 26th, 2017

WTI Research Scientist Matt Blank has been on the road this spring, presenting findings of fish passage research at several leading conferences. Along with his colleagues from the MSU Ecohydraulics Research Group and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, he was invited to speak at both the Annual Meeting of the Western Division of the American Fisheries in May, and at the International Conference on Engineering and Ecohydrology for Fish Passage in June. Topics for these presentations included: · A Baseline Swimming Assessment for Arctic Grayling: Characterizing the Volitional Swimming Performance of Arctic Grayling to Inform Passage Studies · Arctic Grayling and Denil Fishways: A Study to Determine How Water Depth Affects Passage Success of Arctic Grayling through Denil Fishways · Swimming Performance of Sauger in Relation to Fish Passage The research team conducts studies at MSU, at the Bozeman Fish Technology Center, and in the field. View Full News Post »

Posted in: In The News

Road Ecology researcher, Rob Ament invited to India.

Posted on May 22nd, 2017

Rob Ament has just returned from a week long meeting in India hosted by the Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP). India currently faces numerous wildlife protection challenges; for example, protected areas are often too small to support viable populations of wide-ranging species, such as elephants and tigers, especially if highways and other development severs habitat connectivity between protected areas.  Rob was invited by the Landscape Connectivity in India Working Group to give a presentation and provide his expertise for the workshop, during which participants developed strategies to address the impact of transportation systems on ecological connectivity surrounding various protected areas in the region. View Full News Post »

Posted in: Outreach, Tech Transfer

Rob Ament Invited to Gabon by World Bank to speak on wildlife connectivity.

Posted on April 26th, 2017

Road Ecology Program Manager Rob Ament just returned from a week in the West African nation of Gabon. The World Bank Group invited Rob as an expert speaker for a special meeting of its Global Wildlife Program, which provides more than $130 million in grants to reduce human-wildlife conflicts. Representatives from 19 countries in Asia and Africa that will be receiving funds participated in the meeting. View Full News Post »

Posted in: Outreach, Presentation

Rob Ament's work featured in Mountain States Chapter of the International Erosion Control Association newsletter

Posted on March 21st, 2017

In its March newsletter, the Mountain States Chapter of the International Erosion Control Association highlighted the release of Rob Ament’s recent task reports on using woolen products for erosion control.  “Evaluation of Effectivenss and Cost-Benefits of Woolen Roadside Reclamation Products” is a research partnership among the Montana Department of Transportation, WTI, and KC Harvey Environmental, LLC. The release of the reports was also announced by the Transportation Research Board’s Daily New Service. View Full News Post »

Posted in: In The News, Research

Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences publishes journal article co-authored by Matt Blank

Posted on February 27th, 2017

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. View Full News Post »

Journal Article Proposes Global Remote Camera Networks to Preserve Biodiversity

Posted on February 13th, 2017

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. Citation: 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. View Full News Post »

WTI's Tony Clevenger interviewed about reduction in wildlife collisions on Trans-Canada Highway

Posted on January 23rd, 2017

Last week, Tony Clevenger was interviewed by Newstalk 770 out of Calgary, Canada for the morning news report. The story highlighted the findings from research in Banff National Park that conclude that wildlife crossings on the Trans-Canada Highway have reduced collisions with wildlife by as much as 80% over the last 10 years. Tony was also interviewed on this topic for a feature story by the Calgary Herald. View Full News Post »

Posted in: In The News

Road Ecology in Latin America

Posted on January 16th, 2017

WTI’s Road Ecology program is building a growing presence in Latin America.  Recently, researchers have been invited to present at several high profile conservation conferences and workshops, with more collaborations on the horizon for 2017. In November, Tony Clevenger attended and gave the keynote presentation at the 1st Iberoamerican Congress on Biodiversity Conservation and Transportation at the Federal University in Lavras, Brasil. View Full News Post »

Final Report: US 93 North Post-Construction Wildlife Vehicle Collision and Wildlife Crossing Montioring on the Flathead Indian Reservation Between Evaro and Polson, Montana.

Posted on January 10th, 2017

The Montana Department of Transportation has released the final report for “US 93 North Post-Construction Wildlife Vehicle Collision and Wildlife Crossing Montioring on the Flathead Indian Reservation Between Evaro and Polson, Montana.” This report summarizes 14 years of research conducted between 2002 and 2015. The research focused on the effectiveness of the wildlife crossing structures installed along 56 miles of US 93, aimed at reducing collisions with large mammals. View Full News Post »

Posted in: Research

Tony Clevenger’s Wolverine Research Featured in Canadian Geographic Magazine

Posted on December 12th, 2016

Sneak Peak! Wolverine Research featured in Canadian Geographic Magazine. In November, Newswire shared a link to an online article about Tony Clevenger’s wolverine research in the Canadian Rockies. The magazine is publishing a feature article in its December 2016 issue, and WTI has received an advanced copy (CanGeo Wolverine_Dec16 - LR). View Full News Post »

Posted in: In The News, Research

Tony Clevenger's Wolverine Research Highlighted in Canadian Geographic

Posted on December 7th, 2016

A reporter for Canadian Geographic spent the day with Road Ecology researcher Tony Clevenger, to learn more about his research on wolverine populations in the Canadian Rockies. In “How Highways are Hurting the Wolverine’s Genetic Diversity,” journalist Fraser Los describes how Tony collects and studies hair samples left behind by wolverines, to better understand where they live and move through the mountain ecosystems, and how the movements have changed over time. Read the full article here. View Full News Post »

Posted in: In The News, Research

Rob Ament's India Trip focuses on Elephant Conservation

Posted on December 7th, 2016

Rob Ament with the Kaziranga National Park Anti-Poaching Team Road Ecology Program Manager Rob Ament recently returned from an international conservation forum in Kaziranga National Park in Assam, India. Rob was invited to participate in a meeting of the IUCN’s (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Asian Elephant Specialist Group, as a support specialist on transportation mitigation and wildlife corridors. This was the first time the world’s leading experts have gathered in 14 years, and representatives from all 13 countries with existing wild Asian elephants attended. View Full News Post »

WTI Researchers quoted in Mountain Town News

Posted on October 25th, 2016

Mountain Town News reported on the Interstate 90 Snoqualmie Pass project, which will ultimately provide wildlife with 27 places to cross along a 15 mile stretch of the interstate. Both Rob Ament and Tony Clevenger are quoted in the article, with Tony calling the project “by far the most ecologically comprehensive mitigation project I’m aware of in North America and likely the world.” Mountain Town News 10. View Full News Post »

Posted in: In The News

WTI Work Posted on Planet Jackson Hole

Posted on October 25th, 2016

Planet Jackson Hole ( has posted a feature article about the wildlife crossing plan that WTI will develop for Teton County, Wyoming. In the article, Jon Mobeck, executive director of the Wildlife Foundation, highlights WTI’s previous work in the area and states that “WTI offers the perfect partnership for Jackson Hole. View Full News Post »

Marcel Huijser's work on Wildlife Crossing Structures featured on Conservation Corridor Website.

Posted on September 29th, 2016

An article summarizing results of Marcel Huijser and team’s research on fencing around wildlife crossing structures in western Montana was recently featured on the Conservation Corridor website. “Effectiveness of fencing around wildlife crossings depends on location and length” highlights different management approaches and recommendations that would decrease wildlife-vehicle collisions and provide safe passage of large mammals. Conservation Corridor is an east coast non-profit whose mission is to bridge the science and practice of corridors in the landscape as a conservation strategy. View Full News Post »

Posted in: In The News, Research

WTI hosts Summer Workshop for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation in Cold Climates

Posted on September 29th, 2016

The Center for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation in Cold Climates (CESTiCC) held its annual summer Workshop in Bozeman on August 12. Participants and presenters represented multiple organizations including University of Alaska - Fairbanks, Washington State University, University of Wisconsin – Platteville, University of Texas-San Antonio, University of Tennessee – Knoxville, Michigan Tech, KC Harvey Environmental, and Montana DEQ. The workshop hosted presentations, updates, and a poster session on CESTiCC projects, followed by tours of the MSU campus and WTI labs. View Full News Post »

Posted in: Event, Outreach

Marcel Huijser Guides Chinese Contingent in Netherlands

Posted on September 29th, 2016

WTI’s Marcel Huijser attended a conference in Lyon, France last month where he connected with Chinese Academy of Transportation Sciences (CATS) associates. The group later met up in The Netherlands where Marcel provided them with an excursion to a multifunctional wildlife overpass. Natuurbrug Zanderij Crailoo is almost a half mile long (800 meters)and includes a bridge across a 2-lane highway and another bridge across a railroad and railroad yard. View Full News Post »

WTI’s Road Ecology work in the Crowsnest Pass in Alberta Canada takes another step forward

Posted on August 26th, 2016

WTI’s work in the Crowsnest Pass in Alberta Canada takes another step forward as Alberta Transportation begins wildlife fencing construction at Emerald Lake. WTI, along with partners Miistakis Institute, Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y), Road Watch in the Pass, and other local scientists and citizens have been recording data and advocating for mitigation measures to reduce wildlife collisions for over a decade. To learn more, visit: http://www. View Full News Post »

Posted in: In The News, Research

Nebraska Project Explores Turtle Use of Culverts

Posted on August 1st, 2016

The Sandhills Prairie Refuge Association featured WTI road ecology research in its June 2016 newsletter. On behalf of the Nebraska Department of Roads, Marcel Huijser is leading a project to see if turtles are using the culverts along Highway 83 (near the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge) to safely go from one side of the road to the other. To track turtle movements, Marcel is using a combination of turtle traps and trail cams. View Full News Post »

Posted in: Research

WTI's Tony Clevenger Invited to Wildlands Network, Mexico

Posted on July 18th, 2016

Erik Saracho, with jaguar call in his hand; Sergio Lopez, executive director of Grupo Selome Mexico; TC; Juan Carlos Bravo.Tony Clevenger was invited by Juan Carlos Bravo of the Wildlands Network Mexico to present on Sustainable Highways at a Road Congress of more than 1,000 transportation engineers in Puerto Vallarta, Mexcio, July 6-8, 2016. The Mexican Minister of Transportation and Environment attended and gave presentations. View Full News Post »

Effectiveness of short sections of wildlife fencing and crossing structures along highways in reducing wildlife–vehicle collisions and providing safe crossing opportunities for large mammals

Posted on June 14th, 2016

Authors Marcel P. Huijser, Elizabeth R. Fairbank, Whisper Camel-Means, Jonathan Graham, Vicki Watson, Pat Basting, Dale Becker Publication Biological Conservation Effectiveness of short sections of wildlife fencing and crossing structures along highways in reducing wildlife–vehicle collisions and providing safe crossing opportunities for large mammals Abstract Wildlife fencing in combination with crossing structures is commonly regarded as the most effective and robust strategy to reduce large mammal–vehicle collisions while also maintaining wildlife connectivity across roads. View Full News Post »

Posted in: Publication

Wildlife Crossing Structure Handbook Translated into Chinese and Portuguese

Posted on May 31st, 2016

As reported in the November 11, 2013 issue of Newswire, the China Academy of Transportation Sciences (CATS) requested permission to produce a Chinese translation of WTI Road Ecology’s “Wildlife Crossing Structure Handbook Design and Evaluation in North America.”  The Federal Highway Administration granted CATS permission, exponentially increasing the tech transfer of this document authored by Tony Clevenger and Marcel Huijser. In March of 2016 The Inter-American Development Bank announced plans to translate the handbook into Portuguese for use throughout Brazil. View Full News Post »

Project update: Evaluating Management Options to Increase Roadside Carbon Sequestration

Posted on March 31st, 2016

If you see rows of bright orange stakes near the Logan and Bear Canyon exits or near Bozeman Pass along I-90, you are looking at a roadside carbon sequestration experimental plot.   WTI’s Rob Ament has been dodging the dodgy spring weather to construct experimental plots to determine if changing three different management practices of roadside vegetation and soils can increase existing levels of carbon capture and storage.  The project, “Evaluating Management Options to Increase Roadside Carbon Sequestration,” is sponsored by the Center for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation in Cold Climates (CESTiCC) in collaboration with MSU Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences (LRES) Professors Scott Powell and Tony Hartshorn. View Full News Post »

Posted in: Research

Dave Kack Discusses Safety Solutions for Explore Big Sky Magazine.

Posted on March 10th, 2016

Big Horn Sheep in Big Sky: The online edition of “Explore Big Sky” recently featured an editorial on the dangers to wildlife and motorists on Highway 64.  The article, entitled “Death of an Icon,” quoted WTI Program Manager David Kack, who discussed possible safety solutions for the road through Big Sky.  The full article is available athttp://www. View Full News Post »

Rob Ament Co-authors Article in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

Posted on November 9th, 2015

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, the journal of the Ecological Society of America, published an article on wildlife crossings co-authored by Rob Ament. “Integrated adaptive designs for wildlife movement under climate change” highlights some of the innovative crossing designs developed by the ARC (Animal Road Crossings) International Wildlife Crossing Infrastructure Design Competition, for which WTI was a partner organization. (Lister, N. View Full News Post »

Posted in: Publication

Using Wool to Control Roadside Erosion

Posted on October 27th, 2015

20 Things You Didn’t Know About……Wool. It hates liquid, loves vapor, and is fire –resistant. And, according to number 12, Montanans use it on the roadside for erosion control! See Rob Ament’s fun shout out in the October 1 issue of Discover Magazine. View Full News Post »

Posted in: In The News

Animal Detection Systems Tested and Reviewed

Posted on November 10th, 2009

November 2009 — Researchers tested the reliability of the MagalSenstar animal detection system. The livestock contractor delivered 6 animals (2 horses, 2 llamas, and 2 sheep) to the test site and a test was initiated on November 18 2009. The tests lasted for 10 consecutive days after which the animals were removed from the enclosure. View Full News Post »

Posted in: Research

Animal Detection Systems Testbed Research News

Posted on August 4th, 2009

Researchers traveled to the Transcend facility to install another animal detection in the RADS testbed area. This system consists of a buried cable that detects large mammals when they move across the cable. The system is manufactured by Magal Senstar from Ontario, Canada. View Full News Post »

Posted in: Research

Lessons from Highway Wildlife Crossings in a North American Protected Area

Posted on April 11th, 2006

Banff National Park and its environs in Alberta, Canada represents one of the best testing sites of innovative wildlife – roadway mitigation passages in the world. Although the major commercial Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) bisects the Park, a diverse range of engineered mitigation measures, including the incorporation of a variety of wildlife underpasses and overpasses have helped maintain large mammal populations and gather 25 years of important data. View the full article as a pdf. View Full News Post »

Posted in: Newsletter Article

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