Wildlife corridors are becoming beautiful and iconic scientific feats that show our ability to co-exist with animals, when we put our minds to it. And the TransCanada Highway through Banff National Park is perhaps the best example of that.
Twinning of the highway – or doubling its width – began in 1981, and with it, a bold plan to make it safer for animals to get across the busy highway. Currently more than 40 corridors of multiple design serve the animals, and the latest research is highlighting the incredible success of the program managed by Parks Canada. Wildlife collisions have reduced by more than 80%, and almost 90% for various ungulates such as deer, moose, and bighorn sheep.
In 1996, scientists began monitoring the crossings, and that voluminous data set, in addition to other research, shows successful behavioural adaptations, improved or maintained genetic diversity, and a halting to ecological fragmentation. To discuss the monitoring, what scientists are learning, and why the results matter, Defender Radio was joined by Ecological Integrity Monitoring Coordinator for Parks Canada, Derek Petersen.
Episode art of grizzly at a wildlife corridor provided by Parks Canada
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