Wildlife and Roads: Press
We provide information for journalists and members of the press who are interested in the issues and science concerned with roads and wildlife.
Elk passing under Interstate 15 in a wildlife passage. Passage is in Southern Utah. Picture taken as part of research conducted by Silvia Rosa, Utah State University. Research supported by Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Utah Department of Transportation.
January 3, 2007
NCHRP 25-27: Evaluation of the Use and Effectiveness of Wildlife Crossings
Our long term research project is wrapping up its effort to help transportation and natural resource professionals better mitigate roads for wildlife. The National Academies transportation research division, the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NHCRP), awarded a grant to Dr. John Bissonette of the USGS Utah Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Utah State University to conduct research titled, "Evaluation of the Use and Effectiveness of Wildlife Crossings." This three year project will result in a decision tool that can be used across North America to help make transportation projects and plans more accommodating of wildlife and help to create a more permeable landscape across roads.
The nine ecologists and engineers working on the project completed individual projects that are brought together in this decision tool. The engineers (Keith Knapp, Bhagwant Persaud, and Craig Lyon) specialize in traffic safety and developed models of animal-vehicle crashes to help determine what common roadway factors occur in these crashes, and also to help predict crash-prone areas in future roads. An ecologist on the team (Anthony Clevenger) examined animal-vehicle crashes from the perspective of landscape factors and accuracy of crash locations. Several members (Nancy Newhouse, Trevor Kinley, John Bissonette) studied small mammal communities near roads to ascertain if they can detect indirect effects of roads. Dr. Bissonette examined scientific literature to create an allometric scaling recommendation to place crossings based on the size and movement characteristics of species.
We (Patricia Cramer and Nancy Newhouse) surveyed over 400 professionals across North America to learn of every wildlife crossing on the continent, from terrestrial to aquatic. We have learned there are a minimum of 550 terrestrial underpasses for wildlife, 6 overpasses, and upwards of 10,000 or more aquatic passages for fish and other stream dependent species. Participants in the survey have also conveyed information on the planning processes, how animal-vehicle collision data is collected and managed, and how the maps and data from state wildlife and fish agencies are used in the transportation planning and development process. We have also gathered reports, papers, and pictures from these professionals. All this information is being uploaded into the decision tool that will help users select, configure, and place wildlife crossings, and then to monitor and evaluate and maintain these structures over time.
The current website for this project is: www.wildlifeandroads.org. For further questions or information on passages you would like us to add to this national database, please contact the manager of this project, Dr. Patricia Cramer at: firstname.lastname@example.org or the Principle Investigator, Dr. John Bissonette at email@example.com.
Pocatello Idaho's Kidk.com News Interview Concerning Southeast Idaho Deer-Vehicle Collisions, Patricia Cramer's TV interview in Pocatello Idaho.
Highway Mortality: Making road systems more permeable for wildlife
An article by Shauna Leavitt for the Mule Deer Foundation Newsletter September/October 2007 Issue
Better Roads Article on Wildlife Crossings and Intelligent Transportation Systems Technology
Utah Public Radio Access Utah (July 21, 2006)—A Conversation With Patricia Cramer and John Bissonette
Sharing the Roaded Landscape, Utah State University
Utah's Standard Examiner Article on Wildlife Vehicle Collisions with Bissonette & Cramer, Utah State University
Utah's KSL-TV Interview with Bissonette & Cramer on Wildlife-Vehicle Collision in Utah, Utah State University
States build more wildlife crossings, Casper Star Tribune
Utah roads making life wild for animals, Deseret Morning News
Deer Vehicle Collisions May Rise as Temperature Falls, Utah State University