Banff National Park of Canada
Trans-Canada Highway Twinning
The Banff Wildlife Crossings Project Report, 2002
WHAT WE KNOW...AND WHAT WE DON'T KNOW
Wildlife Crossing Structures
An emerging science - The impact of roads on wildlife and mitigation solutions to counter these effects is an emerging science. There is limited knowledge of effective and affordable crossing structure designs for most wildlife species.
Different responses by wildlife - We know that wildlife use crossing structures. But how often they are used and how well they are accepted by wildlife varies between species and geographic area, and the reasons why are unclear.
Design specifications - There are recommended minimum dimensions for some ungulate species, but the needs of wide-ranging species are vague.
Influence of human activity - Our work in Banff has shown that human activity can influence how animals use passages.
Crossings for all species - Practically all of the research conducted to date has focused on single-species, such as elk or deer, and limited attention has been paid to multiple species or wildlife communities (e.g. large mammals).
Cost-effectiveness - A key variable in mitigation planning is cost. Crossing structures are expensive measures, but a large research void exists in determining cost-effective designs.
A long road ahead - In spite of these valuable kernels of information, gaping holes in our knowledge of functional wildlife crossing systems remain.
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