Idaho Has Begun Road Kill Marking Project
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.