Fall 2022

Newsletter Archive


New paper: Exploring the effectiveness of exclusion fencing and road mitigation for wildlife

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We recently contributed to a new fence ecology paper lead by Dr. Adam Ford "A before-after-control-impact study of wildlife fencing along a highway in the Canadian Rocky Mountains." The paper was published in a special edition of Frontiers called "Disentangling the Complexity of Fence Effects on Wildlife and Ecosystems." Editors Christine Wilkinson, Paul Jones and Andrew Jakes explain "Fence Ecology is a growing discipline due to the increased awareness of the effects of fences on wildlife and ecosystem processes. Fence Ecology is the interaction between fences, organisms, ecosystems, and societal needs."

The paper reminds us of important lessons for road mitigation systems designed to reduce collisions with vehicles while enabling safe movement of wildlife. Our results show fences tied into road crossing infrastructure can greatly reduce ungulate vehicle collisions and therefore reduce the risk to motorists. In our study the investment in highway mitigation and fencing was realised after 2 years in areas with high wildlife vehicle collisions (WVCs), and in 6 years in areas with low WVCs. We did not see a reduction in carnivores mortality which is likely due to low sample size but also highlights the importance of preventing bears from digging under the fence, by burying a portion of the fence, or climbing over, by installing an electric top wire.