Rise in Roadkill Requires New Solutions

May 16, 2013

The U.S. highway system includes more than 4 million miles of road. Roads crisscross even the most remote parts of the country, fragmenting habitat and causing regular encounters between motorists and wildlife.

It’s not just deer in the headlights—each year, vehicle-wildlife collisions kill millions of animals and harm thousands of people, too. WCS’s Jon Beckmann says vehicles are one of the biggest threats to U.S. wildlife populations. Among those at risk are seasonal migrants like pronghorn, moose and elk, as well as wide-ranging carnivores such as grizzly bears, mountain lions, and wolverines. And according to the Federal Highway Administration, death by car represents a serious threat to 21 endangered or threatened species, from bighorn sheep to desert tortoises.

But there are solutions. In Montana, 41 wildlife-crossing structures (underpasses and overpasses) now dot U.S. Highway 93—a collaboration between the state’s department of transportation, WCS, and various other partners.

Scientists are seeking new ways to ensure safe passages for wildlife across the vast U.S. highway system.
 Read about them in a report from Scientific American.
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