This webinar presented the latest information on the relative effectiveness of mitigation measures that seek to reduce animal-vehicle collisions (AVCs). There are an estimated 1-2 million annual collisions with large animals in the U.S. which costs society $6-12 Billion per year. AVCs are most common on rural roads and over 89 percent occur on 2-lane roads (compared to 52% of all crashes). The webinar reviewed the preliminary results of a Transportation Pooled-Fund Project: TPF 5(358), Wildlife Vehicle Collision Reduction and Habitat Connectivity Study. It has evaluated 28 counter measures that seek to reduce collisions with large animals. The webinar also demonstrated that there are significant differences between crashes with wildlife versus livestock. It also provided a peer-reviewed method of cost-benefit analysis for deploying mitigation measures to reduce wildlife vehicle collisions.
At the conclusion of this webinar, participants were able to:
- identify the three strategies developed to reduce AVCs and the types of mitigation measures that fit under each strategy;
- know which of the 28 counter measures are most effective and which are not;
- understand the importance of differentiating between crashes with livestock and wildlife; and
- more fully appreciate the costs of doing nothing to mitigate AVCs versus the benefits that accrue when counter measures are deployed.
This training was directed towards a very broad safety audience including, but not limited to, transportation planners, engineers, project managers, technologists, highway design consultants, environmental managers and safety culture experts. Participants should have some basic familiarity with transportation safety.
- Rob Ament, M Sc., Road Ecology Program Manager Western Transportation Institute-Montana State University
Rob has more than 30 years of experience in transportation ecology, natural resource management and environmental policy. At WTI, Rob leads our efforts to research, monitor and develop solutions to minimize the impacts of roads on terrestrial and aquatic wildlife and improve motorist safety. He is the principal investigator of five active research projects and oversees 6 staff in three offices in western North America.
Some of the active research projects he leads include developing: 1) a national roadkill data collection system for the National Park Service and US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2) a reservation-wide wildlife-vehicle collision reduction plan for the Blackfeet nation in Montana, and 3) a mitigation plan to provide safe passage for elephants, tigers and rhinos across a proposed 4-lane highway adjacent to Kaziranga National Park in Assam, India. In the past year he conducted road ecology workshops for the Hopi Tribe in Arizona, the Yukon Territories government, Canada and for tiger conservationists in India and Nepal.