For over 80 years people have documented the threat highways pose to animals. Over this period highways have significantly increased in size resulting in greater vehicle speeds and volumes producing an even greater threat to wildlife. A majority of research on wildlife/highway mitigation has focused on larger species such as deer, elk, and bears where the threat of collisions is more apparent, however smaller mammals such as skunks, raccoons, bobcats, and lynx are more significantly affected by the formidable barrier which a 4-lane highway presents. These species are often killed because the crossing distance is great and vehicles are moving so quickly, and the traveling public can be injured swerving to avoid such collisions. At our May chapter meeting, Kerry Foresman will present his talk entitled “How Does the Small Mammal Cross the Road?” – Creating Safe Passage for Wildlife Species on Our Roadways. He will tell us about his research that has addressed these concerns and that has allowed him to develop a shelf system which can be placed in highway culverts (from small drainage culverts to large culverts handling stream flows) to mitigate these problems.
Kerry R. Foresman is an Emeritus Professor of Biology and Wildlife Biology at the University of Montana, retiring in 2013 after 35 years, the past 30 at UM. His research primarily focuses on the ecology of small mammal species (shrews, bats, rodents) as well as mid-level carnivores (e.g., American marten, fisher, river otters, and swift fox) and he is the author of “Mammals of Montana”, the first comprehensive, illustrated account of ecology, behavior, distribution and reproduction of all Montana mammals. Since 2001 he has also been developing methods to enhance safe movement of small mammal species across highway corridors and has created a company, Critter Crossing TM Technology that addresses these issues.
Join us on Monday, May 14 th at 7:00 PM in Rm 123 of the Gallagher Business Building.