Road Ecology: A Practitioner's Tale
Road Ecology is a relatively new sub-discipline of ecology that focuses on understanding the interactions between road systems and the natural environment. Wildlife crossings that allow animals to safely cross human-made barri-ers such as roads, are intended not only to reduce animal-vehicle collisions, but ideally to provide connectivity of habitat areas, combating habitat fragmentation. Wildlife mitigation strategies to improve the permeability of our infrastructure can include a combination of structures (overpasses/underpasses), at-grade crossings, fencing, animal-detection systems, and signage. One size does not fit all and solutions must be considered on a case-by-case ba-sis. Often, the feasibility of the preferred mitigation solution depends on a combination of variables including road geometrics, topography, traffic patterns, funding allocations, adjacent land use and landowner cooperation, the target wildlife species, their movement patterns, and habitat distribution. Joe and Deb will speak to the current road ecolo-gy practices in Montana and some real-world applications from the Department of Transportation.
Wambach, Deb and Weigand, Joe, "Road Ecology: A Practitioner's Tale" (2014). Public Lecture Series. 29.