Planning and enforcement the perfect combo to prevent wildlife collisions

Photo by Parks Canada
The plan was laughed at when first conceived, and pundits doomed it for failure. But today, the wildlife crossings and fencing in Banff National Park, combined with effective police enforcement, are seen as the best solution that saves money – and lives.

The Calgary Sun this week reported that wildlife death rates on the roads through the park were the lowest in years, with only 11 large mammals killed through 2014, on roads that were once called the “deadliest in Canada.”

Last year, the Trans-Canada Highway twinning project was completed, and now is home to 44 wildlife crossings and nearly 100 km of wildlife fencing. Dozens of species, from bears, wolves, and elk, down to toads and toads, are utilizing the crossings, showing their value in an ecosystem.

The crossings, which include overpasses and underpasses, are gaining popularity not just across Canada, but right around the world.

The Sun also noted that RCMP and area police services have made speeding and other offences in the parks a priority, sharply reducing behaviour that can lead to wildlife-vehicle collisions.

This is yet another example making it clear that rather than controlling wildlife, we must learn to live with wildlife – after all, the animals have learned to live with us.

Photo of elk at wildlife crossing by Parks Canada

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