Do bighorn sheep like highway wildlife overpasses better than underpasses? Arizona sports three wildlife overpasses over Highway 93 which were specifically designed for bighorn sheep. It also has three wildlife underpasses under Highway 68.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department recently reported that there were 229 bighorn sheep crossings at the three overpasses in a single month. There have been only 32 crossings at the underpasses in two years.
The Highway 93 overpasses also have a higher cuteness quotient than the underpasses. A bighorn ewe and her lamb were recently photographed crossing one of the overpasses.
The Idaho Statesman isn’t sure if the federal stimulus plan helped the nation recover from the recession, but in an editorial today it says that it was a good thing for wildlife because allowed a local partnership, including Idaho Fish and Game, built a wildlife underpass on Idaho 21. The underpass is a success.
In Kansas, they are searching for lesser prairie chicken breeding areas, or leks, from the air with helicopters. Field crews will train on March 29-31 and conduct official survey work across all of western Kansas until the middle of May. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism is also asking people to report leks. The survey is part of a five-state effort, and the survey technique will be evaluated.
In Maine, biologists at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife have visited up to 100 dens each winter for 37 years, making the survey in the nation’s oldest radio-collar monitoring program for bears. This year the Maine Sunday Telegram wrote a story about it, with lots of pics. Read it here.
Hundreds of starlings fell to the asphalt yesterday afternoon during rush hour on Interstate 95 near Laurel, Maryland, in the Washington, DC area. Traffic backed up as motorists tried to avoid running over the birds.
The Washington Post and ABC7 quote Maryland Department of Natural Resources biologist Peter Bedel as saying the birds likely just flew into a truck.
Lots of pics and videos of dead birds; lots of conjecture about the Aflockolypse of New Year’s Eve 2011.
There have been plenty of studies on the effects of road salt on wetlands, and particularly on the amphibians that live in those wetlands. (Here’s a bibliography with seven pages of peer-reviewed papers on the subject, plus over a page of other information sources.)
But because so much of that work was done by Nancy Karraker when she was at State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, James Petranka of the University of North Carolina – Asheville wanted to know how road salt effected amphibians in the southeastern United States — the site of enormous salamander diversity, says an article in the Charlotte Observer.
What he found was that road salt’s impact on the invertibrates in a vernal pool is crucial to the development of the amphibians there, and possibly, to public health. That’s because the salamander larvae eat water fleas, copepods and other invertebrates that don’t fare well in salty water. What’s more, mosquitoes didn’t seem to have any problem with the salty water, and one of the mosquito species that volunteered in the salty test pools carries West Nile Virus.
Four years after the electricity first flowed through the fences and shock-mats of the Tijeras Canyon wildlife collision mitigation project, it’s safe to say the project is a success. Collisions between vehicles and wildlife in the canyon have been drastically reduced. Still, you can learn not only what to do from the project, but gather some tips on what to avoid when putting together your own project too.
Today we’ll tackle New Mexico’s plan to reduce collisions between vehicles and wildlife on a busy skein of highways outside of its largest city. The plan included state-of-the-art technology and techniques and makes a worthy blueprint for other ambitious highway mitigation highway projects.
Two weeks ago we mentioned a vehicle-wildlife collision mitigation project in New Mexico that had installed cutting-edge electro-shock mats to prevent wildlife from crossing a highway. The switch was flipped on those mats four years ago and there has been plenty of time to evaluate whether the ambitious and comprehensive mitigation project worked.
In a State Wildlife Research News exclusive report, over the next three days we’ll take a look at the wildlife collision problem at Tijeras Canyon, the state-of-the-art suite of solutions installed to solve it, and what has happened there over the last four years.
Today, we’ll take a look at the wildlife collision problem. Does this highway resemble any that you worry about?
One problem with fencing off highways so that large animals don’t wander on is that exits, entering roadways, and driveways can’t be fenced off. Animals on highways cause accidents, injury, and sometimes death for both the animal and passengers in the car that hits them. Often, fencing is crossed off the list of possibilities for directing wildlife crossings because there is simply too much other pavement entering the highway that can’t be fenced.
The California Department of Transportation is installing mats that deliver an electric shock to animals entering a highway in southern California. The stretch of Highway 101 has a problem with large animals causing accidents. The mats will be most helpful for keeping bears off the highway. The mats won’t shock cars or people wearing shoes.
A mountain lion was struck and killed by a car on a Connecticut highway Saturday morning (June 11). News reports say Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection officials believe it to be the same animal that was spotted in Greenwich, Connecticut earlier that week. The reports also mention that it is likely a captive animal that escaped or was released.