Humans are the primary users of wildlife corridors around Canmore, Alberta, a study has concluded.
“During a recently completed year-long study, ecologists collected about 1.5 million photos using remote cameras set up along the corridors, but around 95 per cent of those were of people,” the CBC reported.
The corridors are designed to allow wildlife to safely pass highways or other hazardous areas, and have shown in some areas to drastically reduce vehicular collisions. They also improve connectivity of habitat, a serious issue that plagues wildlife across the country.
But the presence of people – and, too frequently, their off-leash dogs, might be problematic.
"It's a little bit concerning because we havewildlife corridors we're trying to maintain for wildlife movement but, in fact, the biggest users of wildlife corridors are people," the CBC reported Alberta Parks ecologist John Paczkowski as saying. “We have almost 100,000 people who are having their dogs out there in the wildlife corridors and we have 60,000 separate events of dogs being off-leash in and around wildlife corridors. I'd like to see people be a little more responsible, a little more understanding of where the corridors are. It's not only [the law] you keep your dog on a leash, if you want to have wildlife on the landscape and using these corridors, it's something you have to do."
Protecting and respecting wildlife means protecting their homes and respecting what they need to live their lives fully. Please obey leash laws and remember that the animals want the same things we do: a safe place to raise our families.