Summer 2020

Newsletter Archive


Correction factor to apply to vehicle collisions data

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This photo exemplifies dedication, perseverance and data collection - Dorthy participated in Collision Count, a three year program to monitor animal carcasses along Highway 3 in the Crowsnest Pass. Twenty dedicated citizens from the Pass and beyond walked transects parallel to Highway 3 once a week for five years and reported wildlife carcasses - representing animals that were struck by a vehicle, but died away from the highway.

Road mitigation to reduce animal-vehicle collisions (AVCs) is usually based on analysis of animal carcass data reported from road surveys by highway maintenance clean-up crews. Large-bodied animals that are struck and die away from a road are not recorded or considered in these analyses, reducing our understanding of the number of AVCs and cost-benefit of road mitigation. Collision Count resulted in the development of a correction factor to apply to animal carcass data reported through road surveys. We found more wildlife involved in AVCs die away from the highway and are not reported in traditional road surveys undertaken by highway maintenance clean-up crews. We calculated a correction factor along Highway 3 of 2.6 to be applied to road survey carcass data. This means that for every 1 animal that is found dead on the road, there are 2.6 animals that die off the road.

The amazing citizen scientists who collected data over the five year period are Elizabeth Anderson, Monica Bartha, Emilie Brien, Chris Clarke, Cindy Crane, Shirley Enzol, Gary Enzol, Travis Huss, Tracey Kaisner, Barbara Koch, Victor Koch, Glenda Newsted, Loretta Schaufele, Gerry Smith, Dorthy Smith, Chris Weickert, Sue Weickert, Nelson White, and Kat Williams. We are most grateful.