When most people think about roads and wildlife it is about the risk of striking an animal while driving. In Alberta we share the landscape with large mammals (pronghorn, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, grizzly bears, black bears) but deer are the most common species involved in animal vehicle collisions. It is not a surprise that motorist safety is a priority and indeed we should address areas with high animal vehicle collisions. But what about species that are rare and sensitive to traffic volumes, who may avoid roads. Species that tend not to show up in the animal vehicle data we are using to make decisions on road mitigation. Our new paper shows road sections where animal vehicle collision hotspots and connectivity values for species of concern align and road mitigation would reduce the risk of animal vehicle collisions and enable safe passage for species of concern.
Miistakis Institute (https://www.rockies.ca/) is a research institute affiliated with Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta. One of the institutes research areas is transportation ecology. Miistakis generates awareness and undertakes research on the challenges that transportation infrastructure poses to wildlife; promotes workable solutions to these challenges; and generates support for implementing solutions.