Watch: Recreationists use wildlife overpass

Humans are potentially ruining a newly-built $5 million wildlife overpass meant to give wildlife an option for crossing a highway in Utah. The Utah Department of Transportation built miles of fencing to guide wildlife toward Parleys Summit overpass near Salt Lake City on the Interstate 50 highway. The agency believed it would take several years for animals to get used to the idea of using the crossing after construction was finished in late 2018. But cameras have already captured footage of coyotes (Canis latrans), bobcats (Lynx rufus), moose (Alces alces), cougars (Puma concolor) raccoons (Procyon lotor), deer and elk (Cervus Canadensis) crossing the bridge. But they’ve also filmed hikers, skiers, bikers and runners making use of the bridge, whose scent alone may be enough to deter some wildlife from making use of the crossing. Officials may resort to fining people for using the bridge if warning signs don’t work to keep people off.

Read more at Quartz.

Header Image: The Utah Department of Transportation finished construction of the Parleys Summit overpass in 2018. The bridge has mostly been successful, but the presence of too many humans may be stopping wildlife from using the crossing. ©Utah Department of Transportation