Benefits of wildlife highway crossings in Banff National Park
Highway mortality of wildlife at Banff National Park (BNP) has decreased over the years thanks to the underpasses, overpasses and fencing along Trans-Canada highway which cuts through the park. A recent article in UToday reports on a study jointly undertaken by the Miistakis Institute and Western Transportation Institute (WTI) that demonstrates the benefits of wildlife underpasses in reducing the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions. It has been proven that, along with helping to maintain ecological integrity in the park, having a wildlife underpass is more cost effective than the societal costs paid for damaged vehicles and human injury and death. It is estimated that over 200,000 mammals have used the 39 available wildlife crossings between Banff National Park and British Columbia since monitoring began in 1996. This monitoring program has provided valuable information on how the Trans-Canada highway affects wildlife movement, mortality and habitat connectivity in the Bow Valley and has also been an important resource for similar projects around the world.
Original article from UToday News
Photos and additional information on the project can be found on the Parks Canada website.