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%. Both Tony Clevenger and Rob Ament were interviewed for the article. Tony discusses his 17-years of data that documents how 11 species of large mammals have used the structure more than 200,000 times. Rob describes how the Banff project has become a model for wildlife conservation in many other countries. The full article is available here.
Also, read more about the Road Ecology team’s work in Banff National Park on the WTI website.
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. While single bears used both tunnels and overpasses, grizzly females traveling with cubs showed a strong preference for overpasses. The study was featured last week on the University of British Columbia website and highlighted today on Science Daily. The full journal article is available in the online edition of the Wildlife Society Bulletin.
The bridges, tunnels, and other wildlife crossing structures on U.S. Highway 93 are the focus of “Safe Passage,” a feature article in the November/December 2017 issue of Montana Outdoors Magazine (published by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks). The article describes the major initiative to install 41 wildlife crossing structures along 56 miles of U.S. 93 while the highway was reconstructed over the course of 2004 – 2010. WTI Research Scientist Marcel Huijser is quoted in the article regarding his 14 years of work to monitor wildlife use of the structures and evaluate their effectiveness. The article also features photos of numerous animal species using the structures. The highway reconstruction and the research study were a major collaboration among Montana Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and WTI. The online version of the Montana Outdoors article is available here.
On Sunday, The Missoulian published a feature article called “Wildlife crossings reveal quirks in road safety,” highlighting the completion of WTI’s US 93 wildlife crossings evaluation project on US 93. P.I.Marcel Huijser is interviewed in the article, which you can read here. As we reported in last week’s Newswire, the project represents a 14 year collaboration by WTI, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. The full report is available on theMDT website.