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Blaine County State Highway 75 Wildlife Data Collection & Mitigation Research

Started: October, 2006 Ended: September, 2008 Project ID #4W1403 Status: Completed

Objective

To increase public safety, reduce wildlife mortality, and reduce economic losses due to property damage from animal-vehicle collisions along a 26-mile section of State Highway 75, between Timmerman Junction (Jct. with Hwy 20) and the Trail Creek Bridge in Ketchum, Idaho.

Abstract

In a growing number of states, wildlife-vehicle collisions are one of the top safety issues of concern to the public and media. Many roads and highways throughout North America have installed standard wildlife warning signs and oversized warning signs with warning flags and flashing beacons. Such warning signs appear to have only limited effect because drivers habituate to them. In addition, road configurations may not allow for wide spread use of wildlife fencing and the open and flat topography of some roads allow for relatively few natural opportunities for wildlife underpasses or overpasses. One road that meets these criteria is a 26-mile section of State Highway 75 in Blaine County Idaho. Animal detection systems are a relatively new mitigation measure that is location and time specific. When a large animal such as a deer, elk or moose is detected, signs are activated to warn drivers that animals may be on or near the road at that time. The driver can then respond to the warning signals by reducing speed, increasing alertness or both, thereby resulting in fewer and less severe collisions with large animals. Published data on the effectiveness of animal detection systems in reducing collisions with large animals is encouraging; seven different animal detection system locations in Switzerland have experienced an 82% reduction in wildlife-collisions, on average. However, animal detection systems are still regarded as largely experimental, and are not yet considered a well-established measure to reduce animal-vehicle collisions. WTI will provide a detailed review and summary of the existing road-kill data for Blaine County, Idaho, including an assessment on whether they qualify as monitoring data or incidental observations and whether the data can be used to identify high frequency collision road sections and evaluate the effectiveness of a future animal detection system. WTI will provide advice on the future collection of animal-vehicle collision and animal carcass data to further aid the identification of road sections that may require mitigation measures, including, animal detection systems. The data will also help evaluate how effective

Contacts

Files & Documents

Sponsors & Partners

  • Board of Blaine County Commissioners Sponsor

Related Information

Part of: Road Ecology

Project Tagged In: animal-vehicle collisions, wildlife, wildlife crossings

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