|Y2Y helps make ROADS SAFER for both human travel and wildlife movement.|
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(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.)
THREATHow 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.
OPPORTUNITYMany 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.
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: how we use your donation dollars.to help make roads and highways in the Yellowstone to Yukon region safer for wildlife and people. See
Add Your Voice: Sign up to receive our Action Alerts and add your voice to important conservation causes.
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.
GET THE LATEST: Transportation News
Hoping to reduce the number of crashes between vehicles and animals along the Highway 1 in the Bow Valley, the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative is asking the province to erect more fencing and other anti-collision measures.
Kim Trotter, Y2Y's U.S. program director, advocates for a safer Highway 20 in Idaho in this guest column for the Idaho Post Falls Register.
What if you could help prevent wildlife deaths on Idaho's Highway 20 near Yellowstone?
"Highway 20 is the first major road that animals encounter as they roam west out of Yellowstone and a critical region for continental wildlife connectivity," says Y2Y's Kim Trotter.
Fifteen years ago, Y2Y co-founder Harvey Locke identified one Canadian highway as a significant barrier to the Yellowstone to Yukon vision – Highway 3.