Idaho Has Begun Road Kill Marking Project

Send by email Printer-friendly version Share this

Anyone traveling throughout southeast Idaho may start noticing some wildlife carcasses - those unfortunate victims of vehicle collisions - lying on the side of the road, marked with bright orange paint.

This paint marking system is part of an overall effort by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and the Idaho Transportation Department to understand better the effects of roads and vehicle collisions on Idaho's wildlife, and the effects on public safety.

Fish and Game, Transportation and various county partners record information about the road kills observed along Idaho's highways and roads. Information, such as species, gender, age and location, is collected. Efforts are focused mostly on big game animals, such as deer and elk, but include other species, such as raptors and some nongame.

The paint marking system was devised to help reduce the duplication of road-kill reports and information. If Fish and Game, Transportation or other agency personnel are called in to remove a dead animal from a roadway, and the carcass has been marked with orange paint, they know not to record the road-kill information - it has already been done.

In addition, the data collection forms have been modified and are consistent among the various agencies assisting with the pick-up of wildlife road mortalities. And all historic road-kill data has been entered into a new statewide database created in a joint effort by Fish and Game, Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.

Good, standardized and complete data is essential to accomplish the main objective: reducing collisions between wildlife and motorists. All data entered is important for identifying wildlife crossing areas, public safety concerns, ecological linkage areas, and sites where overpasses, underpasses and adjacent land use management can benefit wildlife and public safety.

Accurate data will help resolve wildlife mortality issues and hopefully continue to bring in funding for projects aimed at reducing wildlife mortalities and improving public safety on roads.

For more information on these efforts in southeast Idaho, contact Jim Teare, Mule Deer Initiative coordinator for Fish and Game at 208-232-4703.


Ca_Vermonster's picture

This will probably start a

This will probably start a whole new round of the "Aliens are conducting experiments on our animals" complaints. :lol:  Like the ones that were cutting open and disecting the cows a few years ago.

Sounds like a good way to track stuff.  But, i am wondering why they would take the time to stop, record the data, spray paint it, and then just leave it on the sideof the road until the DOT picks it up.

You would think that the same people who record and tag it could also just sling the thing in the back of the pickup.


jaybe's picture

C'mon, Vermonster - you know

C'mon, Vermonster - you know that's not the way government agencies work. First, you've got the people who spot the animal and report it to headquarters. Then you have the people who come out and determine that, "Sure enough, that's a road kill, alright". Then you have the folks who do the sampling, testing, and whatever. They spray it with orange paint and drive on to the next confirmed road kill site. Then, and only then, does the next crew come to pick it up and cart it away to who knows how many other groups who do who knows what to it before it is finally disposed of. Of course, when they do pick it up, you will have at least four people on that crew. One to drive the truck, one to lower the tailgate and two to pick up the carcass and toss it in the truck. In fact, there's a good chance that the two "tossers" will be driving a second truck.

That's how government agencies work most efficiently, isn't it?  lol