At Trapper’s Point in Wyoming, migrating pronghorns and mule deer are funneled by two rivers to 13-mile stretch of Highway 191, where they attempt to cross. Each year they endanger their own lives crossing the highway, and human lives as well, High Country News’s Goat blog reports.
Last year the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) opened eight wildlife crossings, including both under- and overpasses at the site. The deer and pronghorns were guided toward the passages with fencing.
The effort worked — the deer and pronghorn eventually used the passages, but not without a lot of searching, looking and just plain standing around, first. Worse still, during the spring migration, the pronghorn and deer repeated the process. The passages still made them nervous.
But the third time is the charm, according to the excellent Goat blog post and a press release from the Wildlife Conservation Society. When encountering the passages for the second time on their fall migration, the animals didn’t hesitate, but proceeded right through.
Photo: A pronghorn being released after being collared in Colorado. Courtesy Colorado Division of Wildlife