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Conservation Science for the Management of Transportation Systems and Fragment-Sensitive Species in the Crown of the Continent and Central Canadian Rocky Mountains

Started: January, 2014 Ended: November, 2014 Project ID #4W4778 Status: Completed

Objective

The objectives of this project include to continue long-term research on highway mitigation measures to enhance connectivity for  key species in the Yellowstone to Yukon region and to acquire new data on the effects of Highway 3 on wolverines in southern Alberta, Canada.

Abstract

Canada's Rocky Mountain front harbors the richest diversity of large mammals remaining in North America.  Maintaining landscape connectivity throughout the ecoregion has been the vision of the Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) Conservation Initiative.  Roads and increasing vehicle use present some of the most severe human-caused impacts in the Y2Y region.  Increasingly, wolverines are seen as important bellwethers of ecosystem health, because they are highly sensitive to human disturbance (including transportation infrastructure) and vulnerable to climate change.  The Canadian portion of the Crown of the Continent ecosystem has been identified as crucial for wolverines to supply individuals and genes through dispersal to the highly fragmented and threatened population, yet there is very little basic information on wolverines in this critical linkage area.  This project will build on existing wolverine research in four other locations in the Central Canadian Rocky Mountains of Alberta.  Through this project, researchers will collect data to identify habitat needs and connectivity requirements for wolverines in the Highway 3 area.  Identifying dispersal corridors and linkages for safe passage across Highway  3 will address an obvious deficiency for a highway mitigation plan that encompasses the needs of this wide-ranging, rare-occurring species.

Contacts

Sponsors & Partners

  • Woodcock Foundation Sponsor

Related Information

Part of: Road Ecology

Project Tagged In: habitat connectivity, wildlife connectivity

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