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Efficacy and Cost-Savings of Fencing and Wildlife Crossings to Reduce Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions in the Bow River Valley, Alberta

Project #: 4W8372
Start Date: 05/01/2020
End Date: 04/30/2021
Status: Completed

The Bow River Valley is one of the most critical habitats for wildlife in the Canadian Rockies. Reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs) along the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) and facilitating safe movement across the TCH is an important contribution for maintaining wildlife in the region. Starting in the 1970s, mitigation efforts including fencing and wildlife crossing structures have been implemented on the TCH in the Bow River Valley region. WVC data previously has been collected on two mitigated sections of the TCH in Alberta: a 5km section in Dead Man’s Flats and an 18 km section in Banff National Park.

This work will help determine whether highway mitigation efforts have reduced the occurrence of WVCs and quantify the cost-benefits of of the measures in place. As part of a related research project, WTI researchers have compiled counts of WVCs for each of six years prior to mitigation and six years following mitigation. This project will allow additional analysis of the data and evaluate changes in the number of WVCs after each mitigation phase was completed. The research team will also assess the cost-effectiveness of the mitigation measures using the Huijser (2009) economic model, comparing the annual cost of the mitigation infrastructure against the cost of WVCs occurring prior to and after mitigation treatment.

The results from the mitigation evaluation and cost-benefit model can be a valuable decision support tool for agencies considering and selecting mitigation measures to reduce WVCs. The results may also help demonstrate the utility and cost-effectiveness of highway mitigation in protected landscapes.

This project is sponsored by a WVC Reduction and Habitat Connectivity Pooled Fund led by the Nevada Department of Transportation.


The objective of this project is to determine whether highway mitigation efforts on the Trans-Canada Highway (in the Bow River Valley) have reduced the occurrence of Wildlife Vehicle Collisions and to quantify the cost-benefits of of the measures in place.