Monday, April 22, 2024

Wildlife Crossings

| July 9, 2013 8:19 AM

This undated photo provided by Montana Department of Transportation shows Mule Deer crossing through an animal passageway in Polson, Mont. In 2011, game cameras documented 22,466 animals moving through the passages, arcing over U.S. Highway 93 atop Evaro Hill. ThatÕs up from 12,022 critters in 2010. The tally included 25 species, grizzly bears, river otters, badgers, elk and bobcats among them. ÒOver four to six years, we expect to see increasing use,Ó said Marcel Huijser, a research ecologist from Montana State University whoÕs gathering data on the crossings. ÒAnimals get accustomed to them and start teaching their young. Then we should start seeing the numbers stabilize.Ó This year is the fifth since construction of the full wildlife crossing system finished. While the 56-mile stretch of highway doesnÕt have any knobs or levers to adjust its function, Huijser still has lots of analysis to finish and a couple of big questions to answer. (AP Photo/Montana Department of Transportation, Courtesy of CSKT, MDT & WTI-MSU)