Cost And Benefits of Fauna Crossings

cost and benefits of fauna crossings

There are many studies that show the cost-effectiveness and the benefits of using Fauna Crossings or Wildlife crossing of reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs), such as fewer motorist accidents that may cause human injuries, deaths, and property damage.

Benefits to wildlife include protecting individual wildlife from death or injury, keeping populations intact, and allowing individuals free movement to access important habitats and resources, thus enhancing long-term survival and population viability.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

NDOT Research Report

The NDOT research evaluates the effectiveness of wildlife crossing structures on Hwy 93, between Wells and Contact, Nevada. In their studies, they observed a 50% decrease in the number of mortalities of mule deer with each subsequent migration.

The benefits and costs estimated over the analysis period were discounted to calculate the net present value of benefits and costs. The wildlife overpass has a Net Present Worth of approximately $3,972,269 million and a Benefit‐Cost Ratio of 1.58.

Benefit‐cost ratios greater than one identify projects worth the investment. A benefit to cost ratio of 1.58 indicates that having wildlife crossing structures at locations of high wildlife-vehicle collisions is economically justified.[NDOT]

Calgary Herald

CACALGARY — A study looking at wildlife crossings along the Trans-Canada Highway recommends up to 10 sites where the measures could save money by reducing collisions between vehicles and animals.

Based on a set of five criteria, including the rate of wildlife-vehicle collisions and overall importance as a wildlife crossing. They recommend 10 sites along the roadway where mitigation would help prevent collisions and ultimately save society money. As part of the recommendations to the province, the report looked at an underpass at Dead Man’s Flats near Canmore to determine the cost benefits of the wildlife crossings.

The analysis of the underpass, along with three kilometers of fencing, found the number of collisions was reduced to three a year. That’s down from an average of 12 since the mitigation measures were installed in 2004. It estimates the overall annual cost to society is reduced from $129,000 to $18,000 because there were fewer damaged vehicles, injuries, and deaths. The cost also accounts for lost hunting revenues.[CALGARY]

What makes a crossing successful?

One of the most looked-to examples of successful wildlife overpasses is in Banff, over the Trans-Canada Highway. A study there shows that in just one two-mile stretch, wildlife-vehicle crashes reduced from an average of 12 a year to 2.5, reducing costs of crashes by 90 percent—over $100,000. It’s statistics like these that have led to the addition of crossings there over the last two decades.

Tony Clevenger, a senior research wildlife biologist at WTI , has been monitoring wildlife at Banff’s six overpasses (and 38 underpasses) for more than 17 years. He found that animals have different preferences when it comes to feeling safe on an over- or underpass. Doing that monitoring before building is critical, he says.[ NAT GEO]