Arizona Game and Fish crossing report reveals highway habits of wildlife

Deer are a much-beloved animal, unless you are an avid gardener in rural Central Texas.   BrandonLord / Flickr

A recent survey of wildlife near State Route 77 has shown the various crossing techniques of local animals.

Mule deer had a tendency to go over the road while bobcats prefer to go underneath and coyotes had no particular preference, the study showed.

There was a total of 565 deer crossing, making them the heaviest users, while coyotes crossed 303 times and javelina crossed 250 times. Bobcats were monitored crossing just 57 times. In addition, 220 human crossings in the area were recorded.

The research was undertaken as part of the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s efforts to reduce collisions with wildlife in the area.

“There is growing interest in excluding wildlife from roadways for safety reasons, in addition to maintaining landscape connectivity for wildlife populations,” the report said. “This concern has generated an interest in safe crossing structures for wildlife by both transportation and resource management agencies as a tool for mitigating the negative interactions between roadways and wildlife.”

Arizona Game and Fish has plans to study the number of crossings for four years using wildlife cameras that are activated when animals are sensed in front of them, according to a press release.

The survey was conducted between April 2016 and January 2017. Over 1,000 animals were documented around the SR 77 overpass and underpass.

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