PARLEYS CANYON, Utah (ABC4) – Utah natives know how crazy the road traffic here can get, especially for those of us with furry coats and four legs.
Located in Parley’s Canyon, a wildlife crossing has been implemented to help our animal friends navigate the overpass to the other side of the canyon. Over the past year, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources confirmed 706 animal crossings of 23 different species including six bird species, 414 mule deer crossings, 54 coyote crossings, 27 porcupine crossings, eight black bear crossings, and 10 moose crossings.
This is not the first time humans have taken to directing animal traffic in Utah. In an effort to mitigate the number of deer-related car crashes, the DWR worked hand-in-hand with the Utah Department of Transportation to install what are essentially ‘deer crosswalks’ in areas with a high number of animals looking to make their way across a busy road.
One of the first installments of these innovative features can be found on Highway 73, by Eagle Mountain’s city limits. It works as a combination of classic crowd funneling methods along with infrared technology. Eight-foot-high fencing around the road prevents the deer from crossing anywhere but through a small gap in the barricade. Soon, that gap will also be supplemented by a light that turns on when an animal is found on an infrared detector, alerting drivers of the potential hazard.
As we embark on the New Year it will be interesting to follow the wildlife crossing pass to see what other species are sighted throughout the colder months.
For a closer look at the species sighted over the past year, check out the video below.