Wildlife crossings help protect Nevada’s wildlife and people
I still remember my first vehicle-wildlife collision like it happened yesterday. If you learned to drive in a wildlife-rich environment as I did, you come to know when and where you are most likely to see an animal running across the highway. Unfortunately, creating wildlife crossings was not a common practice back then. Thankfully, that is starting to change.
As more research is conducted to identify the importance of wildlife corridors and where they intersect with highways, more conservationists are working to protect both animal and human life from deadly vehicle-wildlife collisions.
A wildlife corridor is a bottleneck on the landscape formed by either valleys, mountain passes or impassable lakes and rivers. These narrow land features connect a wildlife specie’s various habitats, generally between an animal’s summer and winter range. When these bottlenecks intersect a busy highway, collisions are bound to occur. Each year, Nevada has more than 500 reported wildlife-vehicle collisions, but it is estimated that 5,000 animals are actually killed by vehicles and cost the state close to $20 million.