Fencing combined with wildlife over and underpasses in Banff National Park have reduced wildlife-vehicle collisions by 80%. Image: Karsten Heuer
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“The 40+ wildlife crossings built on U.S. Highway 93 on the Flathead Reservation of western Montana is the largest highway mitigation effort in the U.S. Support from Y2Y has helped share the successes (and engaging wildlife photos) of the U.S. 93 monitoring and science program.”

 

Peoples’ Way Partnership

Partners

Transportation

(Watch the Highway Wilding 23-minute documentary to learn more about the efforts Y2Y and its partners are taking to make our roads safer for people and animals.)

THREAT

Bear running across road. Image: Kent Nelson
Wildlife must navigate across busy roads to continue their journey. Image: Kent Nelson
How did the grizzly bear, or the pronghorn, or the salamander cross the road safely? That is a question that Y2Y asks.

 

Roads, and in particular highways, as well as trains, are significant barriers to wildlife movement throughout the Yellowstone to Yukon region. Even in protected areas like Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks wildlife collisions on roads are an issue. In 2012, 12 grizzly bears were struck in the parks by motorists on roads with no form of wildlife-crossing structures. Another four were killed by trains. 2014 saw another two grizzlies taken out by the train.These barriers not only threaten the lives of people, but if wildlife cannot cross roads and connect to other populations it limits their genetic diversity, which will lead to long-term population decline.

OPPORTUNITY

Banff Overpass. Image Josh Whetzel
Wildlife structures through Banff National Park have reduced wildlife-vehicle collisions by 80%. Image: Josh Whetzel
Many measures to keep wildlife and people moving safely have had extraordinary results. Research conducted on fencing, as well as the wildlife over- and underpasses, built on Canada’s Trans-Canada Highway through Banff National Park shows that these structures have reduced wildlife-vehicle collisions in the park by 80 per cent. Additionally, these structures have enabled more than 140,000 animal crossings, which have proven to promote gene flow.

Other measures, such as movable remotely-triggered wildlife signs, are effective at alerting drivers to slow down to the presence of wildlife. This measure is highly effective for roads that are lined with private dwellings and drive-ways, which makes adding fencing and crossing structures impractical. These are just a few examples of many mitigation options.

WHAT Y2Y IS DOING

As of 2013, some 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of highways across Alberta, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming are or are in the process of being modified to be safer for both wildlife and people thanks to the work of Y2Y and its partners. Despite this, there are thousands of miles of highway and railway line that threaten both people and wildlife. Y2Y is focused on tackling each of these barriers, one at a time.

Highway Projects Oct 3, 2016

GOALS & CURRENT PROJECTS 

  • Make Alberta and B.C.’s Highway 3 Wildlife-Friendly.
  • Make Idaho’s Highway 20 Wildlife-Friendly.
  • Complete a wildlife collision analysis on BC Highway 97.
  • Contribute to Parks Canada’s fencing and underpasses along Highway 93 South through Kootenay National Park.
  • Support the People’s Way Partnership’s efforts to communicate the ecological effectiveness of highway wildlife-crossing structures on northern Montana’s U.S. Highway 93. 
  • Advance creative solutions by supporting the Animal Road Crossings (ARC) competition, which facilitates innovation in wildlife structures.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Donate: Make a donation to help make roads and highways in the Yellowstone to Yukon region safer for wildlife and people. See how we use your donation dollars.

Add Your Voice: Sign up to receive our Action Alerts and add your voice to important conservation causes.

PARTNERS INCLUDE:

Alberta Environment and Parks, Alberta Transportation, American Wildlands, Annatum Ecological Consulting, Bridger Teton National Forest, Caribou Targhee National Forest, Miistakis , Center for Large Landscape Conservation, Great Northern Environmental Stewardship Area, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Idaho Master Naturalists, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance,  Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Peoples’ Way Partnership, Road Watch in the Pass, The Nature Conservation, The Teton Conservation District, The Wildlife Conservation Society, Valhalla Wilderness Society, Volker Stevin and Western Transportation Institute.

Related Information:

Fencing and Wildlife Crossing Structures

Banff Wildlife Crossing Structures


Central Canadian Rocky Mountains


Cabinet-Purcell Mountain Corridor


Crown of the Continent

 

GET THE LATEST: Transportation News

Wildlife Fencing at Crowsnest Pass

— Posted on Aug 17, 2016 08:27 AM in: Y2Y in the News
Wildlife Fencing at Crowsnest Pass

Highway #3 at Crowsnest Pass will soon be safer thanks to Y2Y, Miistakis Institute, Road Watch in the Pass, WTI, and many others.

Read More ›

Dead or Alive: Where Did the Animal (Try to) Cross the Road?

— Posted on Jun 06, 2016 08:36 AM in: Media Releases
Dead or Alive: Where Did the Animal (Try to) Cross the Road?

A new program, RoadWatchBC, is putting increased highway safety for both people and wildlife into the hands of anyone with a smartphone or a computer.

Read More ›

Highline Magazine: Mapping the Wolverine Way

— Posted on Dec 16, 2015 10:16 AM in: Y2Y in the News
Highline Magazine: Mapping the Wolverine Way

With support from Y2Y, researchers are learning how wolverines are affected by highways and other barriers.

Read More ›

Helping Wildlife Get Across the Road in Colorado

— Posted on Dec 08, 2015 10:40 AM in: Y2Y in the News
Helping Wildlife Get Across the Road in Colorado

An article on efforts to make highways safer for wildlife in Colorado, with specific focus on the global ARC (Animal Road Crossings) design competition.

Read More ›

Keeping Wildlife Connected

— Posted on Oct 05, 2015 07:51 PM in: Updates from the Field
Keeping Wildlife Connected

Roads are at the root of habitat fragmentation, so finding creative ways to get wildlife safely across them is essential.

Read More ›