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.”

 

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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.)

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 

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, BC Hydro Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, BC Conservation Foundation, 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,  University of Northern BC, Valhalla Wilderness Society, Volker Stevin, Western Transportation Institute and The Wildlife Conservation Society. 

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

Yahk to Yaak Project

— Posted on Feb 06, 2014 02:30 PM in: Updates from the Field
Yahk to Yaak Project

Dozens of on-the-ground projects kick off as Y2Y begins an effort to protect key areas in the Cabinet-Purcell Mountain Corridor.

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SSRP: Hitting Four Birds With One Stone

— Posted on Aug 13, 2013 02:00 PM in: Updates from the Field
SSRP: Hitting Four Birds With One Stone

The South Saskatchewan Regional Land Use Plan (SSRP) has the potential to set Alberta in the right direction for the next 50 years. But will it?

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Making Highway 3 Safe for Motorists and Wildlife

— Posted on Oct 25, 2012 02:00 PM in: Updates from the Field
Making Highway 3 Safe for Motorists and Wildlife

In southern Alberta and B.C., humans and wildlife are at a crossroads.

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Grizzly Bear Allies Blast Alberta's Foot Dragging

— Posted on Sep 19, 2011 03:00 PM in: Y2Y in the News
Grizzly Bear Allies Blast Alberta's Foot Dragging

Y2Y and other conservation groups, including Alberta Wilderness Association, CPAWS and the Sierra Club of Canada, urged the Alberta Government to put a moratorium on new road construction to save the endangered grizzly bear.

Read More ›

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