Factors influencing the effectiveness of wildlife underpasses in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

  • Published source details Clevenger A.P. & Waltho N. (2000) Factors influencing the effectiveness of wildlife underpasses in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. Conservation Biology, 14, 47-56.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Install barrier fencing and underpasses along roads

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Install barrier fencing and underpasses along roads

    A study in 1995–1998 along a highway in Alberta, Canada (Clevenger & Waltho 2000; same experimental set-up as Clevenger 1998) found that underpasses, in areas with roadside barrier fencing, were used by large herbivores and carnivores. A total of 8,959 elk Cervus canadensis appearances, 2,411 deer Odocoileus sp. appearances and two moose Alces alces appearances were recorded at 11 underpasses. There were also 193 appearances of black bears Ursus americanus, seven of grizzly bears Ursus arctos, 117 of cougars Puma concolor and 311 of wolves Canis lupus. On 98% of visits, the animal passed through. Features that positively influenced use of underpasses included increased length, noise level and distance to drainage. Increased width, openness, distance to forest and human activities negatively influenced their use. Nine cement open-span underpasses and two metal culverts (length: 26–96 m, width: 4–15 m, height: 2.5–4.0 m) were monitored along a 27-km stretch of the four-lane Trans-Canada Highway. Barrier fencing, 2.4 m high, ran alongside the highway. Tracks were monitored in sand or clay at each end of each crossing, every 3–4 days, from January 1995 to March 1996 and November 1996 to June 1998. Information about structure, landscape and human activity were recorded for each underpass.

    (Summarised by: Rebecca K. Smith)

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