Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions Increasing

Written by on June 11, 2019

Wildlife collisions are of high concern for motorists and highway officials, especially in Northwest Wyoming.

The Powell Tribune reports that every year, more than 6,000 deer, pronghorn, elk and moose are reportedly hit by vehicles on Wyoming’s roads, which costs individuals and government agencies nearly $50 million annually.

The newspaper points out that two highways in Park County have been determined to be among the most dangerous stretches for wildlife collisions in the state – Highway 14/16/20 between Wapiti and Trout Creek, and Highway 14A between Cody and Powell.

According to the Wyoming Department of Transportation, about 140 animals, mostly deer, are reported hit each year between Cody and Powell, making it one of the three worst stretches of road in the state in terms of total number of animals killed per mile per year. And the Game and Fish Department says between Cody and Meeteetse, pronghorn and mule deer are also killed in high numbers.

Additionally, the Jackson Hole News & Guide reports at least 116 moose have been hit and killed on a stretch of highway outside Jackson since 1990. The Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation says the pace of road kill is increasing.

In response to the rising number of wildlife-vehicle collisions, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Wyoming Department of Transportation, Wyoming Bureau of Land Management and The Nature Conservancy, along with several other non-governmental organizations, have formed the Wyoming Wildlife and Roadways Initiative to quote, “find innovative ways to implement and fund projects that reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions, increase motorist safety and maintain or re-establish disconnected wildlife migration routes.” Endquote

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