WVC Reduction and Habitat Connectivity: Long-term responses of an Ecological Community to Highway Mitigation Measures
Started: October, 2020 End Date: April, 2021 Project ID #4W8716 Status: Ongoing
Crossing structures in Banff National Park and along US Hwy 93 North in Montana, have been monitored for many years, starting as early as 1996, forming the richest database on CS monitoring in the world. These data provide a unique opportunity to assess long-term changes in CS use by a large mammal community. These datasets come from areas with an intact community of large mammals ranging from rare carnivores like wolverine to more common ungulates like white-tailed deer. It is also characterized by mixed landscapes with agriculture and dispersed houses and roads with high traffic volumes. This combination of a relatively intact wildlife community in an area with substantive variation in human disturbance (Banff relatively low human presence and disturbance; Montana relatively high human presence and disturbance) creates a unique ‘reference’ condition to understand how highways and large mammals interact. As large carnivore populations recolonize many parts of their former range, understanding how these species interact with CS in such a reference area will provide critical information to planning mitigation measures in a cost effective and ecologically meaningful manner across North America. This project is sponsored by a multi-fund pooled study led by the Nevada Department of Transportation.
Using these datasets, the research team will explore the following questions: 1) What is the effect of different covariates on species use over time? 2) What are the effects of design and function of CS on community level metrics? 3) Can CS monitoring (counts) be used as an indicator of population abundance?
Tony Clevenger - PI
Nova Simpson - Main External Contact
Sponsors & Partners
- Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) Sponsor