Wildlife are increasingly being considered by transportation agencies and their partners in transportation planning, thanks in part to efforts to identify the priority areas of concern for wildlife-vehicle conflict. The collection and analysis of data, expert opinion, habitat maps, transportation plans, landownership, models, and other information are used by researchers and agencies to direct planning efforts for mitigating transportation for wildlife movement and the reduction of wildlife-vehicle collisions. The results of a pooled fund study on wildlife and transportation are presented. This study surveyed transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada to learn of the most important inputs to inclusion of wildlife concerns in transportation, the challenges, and potential solutions. Three major themes evolved from the results: 1. Wildlife-vehicle crash data and a hotspot analysis of these data were important sources of information for integrating wildlife needs into transportation; 2. Collaboration with wildlife agencies and inclusion of wildlife mitigation plans into long range plans were the most important parts of the planning process; and 3. The top areas for improvement were collaboration with wildlife agencies, dedicated funding, legislative support to consider wildlife movement needs, and instilling environmental stewardship and awareness of wildlife within agency professionals’ hearts and minds. Various U.S. states and Canadian provinces, and metropolitan planning organizations (MPO’s) have addressed these concerns in different ways, and are succeeding in planning for and creating wildlife crossing structures and other mitigation to help reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and provide wildlife connectivity. These examples and much more information are presented in the recently released manual, “The Strategic Integration of Wildlife Mitigation into Transportation Procedures: A Manual for Agencies and Partners,” which was released as part of a multi-agency pooled fund study led by the Nevada Department of Transportation and released under the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. This presentation will highlight the important lessons learned from this research and manual, and introduce this session which focuses on how a state department of transportation, a state wildlife agency, and a non-profit organization addressed prioritization of where wildlife mitigation would best meet the needs of wildlife and safety of motorists. Attendees will learn of the top steps necessary to include wildlife concerns into transportation planning at the state, provincial, and MPO levels.
state wildlife agency
wildlife corridors action plan