A wildlife conservationist is hoping the provincial government will do more to help protect wild animals near highways.
Speaking on the Alberta Morning News, Stephan Legault with the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative says there’s a lot of opportunity for the NDP government such as building more wildlife overpasses.
“We already have connectivity structures in place in the Bow Valley where wildlife is able to move under the highway or in Banff National Park where they are able to move over. At a time when people are becoming increasingly concerned about the future of wildlife in the region, and at a time when the government is looking for ways to put people to work, we really feel that this is the best of both worlds,” said Legault.
Legault says animals learning how to use the crossings is a simple process.
“We train them by building fences and that’s what Alberta Transportation investment in Highway 3 is doing and why it’s so important. By fencing off those landscapes so that the critters can’t wander onto the highway and then essentially funneling them to the places that we want them to go they’re able to find their way either safely under or over.”
Legault says the Crowsnest Pass area is causing a lot of damage to the big horn sheep population.
“About 10 per cent of that population is getting hit on the highway every year. It’s decimating the big horn population there. It’s also really hard on people.”
Legault says the crossings give animals a better chance of species survival. (djs)