Evaluation of Measures to Minimize Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions and Maintain Permeability Across Highways: Arizona Route 260

The authors conducted wildlife-highway relationships research from 2002-2006 along a 17-mile stretch of State Route 260 in Arizona which is being reconstructed in five phases with 11 wildlife underpasses and six bridges. Reconstruction phasing allowed the authors to use a before-after-control experimental approach in their research. The objectives of their research were: 1) assess and compare wildlife use of underpasses; 2) evaluate highway permeability and wildlife movements among reconstruction classes; 3) characterize wildife-vehicle collision patterns and changes with reconstruction; 4) assess relationships among highway traffic volume and wildlife vehicle collisions, elk crossing patterns, and wildlife use of underpasses; 5) assess the role that ungulate-proof fencing plays in wildlife vehicle collisions, wildlife use of underpasses, and wildlife permeability; 6) provide ongoing highway reconstruction implementation guidance. The authors used video surveillance to assess and compare wildlife use of five underpasses at which they recorded 8,455 animals and 11 different species; 5,560 of these animals (65.8%) crossed through the underpass. The authors employed global positioning system telemetry to assess highway permeability across SR 260, with 65 elk fitted with receiver collars. Elk crossed State Route 260 5,749 times. Elk permeability on reconstructed highway (0.43 crossings/approach) was half that of control sections. Permeability increased 60% after ungulate-proof fencing was erected on a reconstructed section. Effective monitoring and adaptive management yielded benefits to highway safety and wildlife permeability alike.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Bibliography; Figures; Photos; Tables;
  • Pagination: 185p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01091792
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-AZ-07-540
  • Contract Numbers: ECS File No. JPA 01-152; JPA 04-024T
  • Created Date: Apr 23 2008 11:49AM