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Wildlife crossings help conserve migration routes in Wyoming
Wildlife crossing structures can dramatically improve the safety of both migrating ungulates and drivers. Research in Wyoming tracking the migrations of elk (Cervus canadensis), pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) has helped inform transportation officials about some of the best places to build these underpasses or overpasses. Researchers also found that more accidents happened in areas where favored migration routes intersected with the I-80 highway in Wyoming. Increasing numbers of studies have shown that wildlife connectivity is key for the survival of some species, as described in The Wildlife Professional’s recent cover story “Paths to Recovery.” As climate change contributes to the unsuitability of some preferred wildlife habitats, these connections will be necessary for allowing wildlife to disperse to new areas.