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Red Deer North Highway Connector Wildlife Underpass

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The purpose of this study was to monitor use of wildlife mitigation measures constructed as part of an multi-phased 8 km long bypass expressway project around the east and north side of the City of Red Deer known as the North Highway Connector. A section of the highway, tentatively slated to open in eight to ten years, crosses over the Red Deer River, and bisects a wildlife movement corridor along the Red Deer River Valley. In 2013, 2300 metres of wildlife fencing, associated jump-outs, and an underpass were constructed on the east side of the Red Deer River Valley. Fall and winter photomonitoring sessions of the underpass have been conducted by the City since 2014. In October 2016, in partnership with Red Deer College, photomonitoring was expanded to include the east end of the wildlife fencing to evaluate end of fence use. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), coyote (Canis latrans) and red fox (Vulpes vulpes) began utilizing the underpass structure regularly within one year post-construction. Since October 2016, end of fence crossings by white-tailed deer have been detected daily and a well-established trail crosses the road around each end of the fence. The City of Red Deer will use this data to evaluate the success of the mitigation measures and develop a plan to minimize animal-vehicle collisions at the end of the wildlife fence.
Project Date: 
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Project Status: