Wildlife Blog

Animals Shown Using Wildlife Crossings on Montana Highway

When US 93, a highway passing through the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ Flathead Reservation in Montana, was redone in 2006, they also built about 40 wildlife crossing structures.

In this way, the roadway developers and consultants hoped to minimize animal-vehicle collisions and ensure ecological diversity by providing connections between habitats.  The crossings consisted of pipes, tunnels, and overpasses.

Whisper Camel, a wildlife biologist for the CSKT, has been monitoring the use of the crossings using an infrared digital camera with a motion detector.  Her findings show a range of animals using the passageways, including bears, river otters, bobcats, cougars, owls, coyotes, and elk.

The construction of the crossings and the evaluation of their effectiveness has provided invaluable insight into maintaining an ecological balance despite urban development.

For more info:
The Missoulian
CSKT Wildlife Crossing Page
Evaluation of Wildlife Crossing Structures and Fencing on US Highway 93 Evaro to Polson (PDF)

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