© 2024
Virginia's Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Preventing vehicle collisions with wildlife

Virginia ranks #9 among states for traffic collisions with wildlife
Lori Cash
Wild Virginia
Virginia ranks #9 among states for traffic collisions with wildlife

Experts say we could protect wildlife, drivers and their passengers by doing two things. First, by building small underpasses or bridges so animals could avoid crossing highways and busy road, and second, by preserving wild lands that currently connect creature habitat. At the non-profit Wild Virginia, Jessica Roberts says those two steps could mean a safer state and healthier animals.

“More connected habitats allow species to find more resources and more mates," she explains.

Her group wants the state to set aside $5 million as a start -- toward achieving those goals, and it’s created an online habitat connectivity hub to improve public understanding.

“Our hub highlights research done by William and Mary and the Department of Wildlife Resources to reduce this vehicle conflict, and they have these ten priority areas highlighted. We’re also including information on land ownership, on aquatic organism passage. Anything you want to find out about habitat connectivity is on this site.”

Next month the group will offer webinars on how to use the site – making it possible for people statewide to see where their trouble spots are. Roberts says the federal government has already sent $600,000 to help identify and prioritize areas that could benefit most from connecting habitats.

To register for a webinar on how to use the connectivity hub, go here:

 And to check out the hub directly, use this link: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/7d09dfd6b426487eb50ac75bb01d81ef

Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief