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Roadkill migration study underway in Idaho

Mule deer roadkill study

Photo credit: Dreamstime 

A new migration study is underway to determine which busy highways impact wildlife crossings the most. The project, which began earlier this summer, is funded via $25,000 from the U.S. Forest Service and is specifically looking at “collision hotspots” along U.S. Highway 20 and State Highway 87 in eastern Idaho, the Associated Press reports.

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According to the Forest Service, “75% of historical migration routes” have been lost for elk, bison and antelope in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. While many historic migration routes are still used in Freemont County, there’s a “high rate of wildlife-vehicle collisions.” In fact, last year, Freemont County residents voted not to build structures that would alleviate wildlife-vehicle collisions due to the impact these structures posed to property values. However, according to CBS 2 News staff, in 2019, there were 434 roadkills/savage reports for the Idaho county and included whitetail deer, elk, mule deer and other wildlife.

The federal-state migration study uses volunteers who identify the dead animals along these highways. The hope is through this data that the Idaho Transportation Department will “understand wildlife-road conflicts through the Caribou-Targhee National Forest,” according to the Associated Press.

2 Comments

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Josh S. - posted 1 month ago on 08-19-2019 10:39:44 am
S.E. Idaho

The majority of these "residents" are out of state transplants from Utah and California that don't give two $hits about our wildlife. They just want their "own private Idaho." You won't find that many Idaho license plates in Fremont County anymore, especially in Island Park where the majority of the collisions happen. I am disgusted this was voted down and it doesn't reflect accurately on the true citizens of our state.

Gary H. - posted 1 month ago on 08-16-2019 08:00:50 am
goHUNT INSIDER

Condemn the property. Build the crossings over major roads. Not only will it save millions in insurance claims but
I wouldn't be surprised if they could get the insurance agencies to pay for some of it if it proves to reduce their collision costs.

Its a win for the animals, a win for the insurance companies and most of those major crossings that are build would be within the road ROW anyhow.

If we want to preserve animals in the future and reduce animal/vehicle collisions then we need to do something about it in the migration corridors.