Project

U.S. Public Lands and Rivers Conservation

Conserving Wildlife Migration Corridors Saves Lives and Wildlife, Boosts Local Economies
Conserving Wildlife Migration Corridors Saves Lives and Wildlife, Boosts Local Economies

Wildlife migration—the act of traveling between seasonal habitats—is widespread among terrestrial species, including many culturally and economically important animals such as mule deer, elk, and pronghorn antelope. However, their ancient routes—which can be thousands of years old—are increasingly crossed by busy roads, subdivisions, and energy development.

The resulting disruption has significant human, economic, and ecological consequences. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, vehicles collide with as many as 2 million large animals each year, resulting in approximately 200 human deaths, 26,000 injuries, and property damage and other costs totaling at least $8 billion annually. And big game herds are declining in several Western states such as Wyoming, where populations of mule deer have plummeted by 40% since 2000.

However, recent advances in science and technology are revolutionizing the way that scientists, policymakers, agency officials, and communities see and understand how wildlife moves across landscapes, providing a critical opportunity to protect essential corridors, wildlife, motorists, and property.

For more information on Pew’s work with partners to conserve key wildlife migration corridors, see the resources below.

Graduate students in Wyoming tag a mule deer with a GPS tracker to monitor its migration path across hundreds of miles.
Graduate students in Wyoming tag a mule deer with a GPS tracker to monitor its migration path across hundreds of miles.
Article

Innovative Wildlife Migration Maps Can Help States

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Article

Using the latest technologies involving GPS-enabled collars, wildlife biologists can track big game migrations in real time as animals move—in some cases—hundreds of miles. With this data, researchers are then able to analyze the effects of development, roads, and climatic conditions on animals’ historic migration routes, which can help state and federal agencies make informed wildlife management and development decisions.

An aerial view of elk, Cervus canadensis, and their shadows on a snowy range.
An aerial view of elk, Cervus canadensis, and their shadows on a snowy range.
Article

The Interior Department Can Improve Wildlife Migration Policy

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Article

At the Department of the Interior, officials have identified wildlife migration as a priority, and new research and state laws and policies, as well as support from tribes, state governments, and local stakeholders, are increasing momentum for conservation action.

OUR WORK

Trust Magazine

Wildlife Crossings Can Protect Migrating Animals

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Trust Magazine

Designated bridges and tunnels offer passage for herds, preserve habitats, and keep people safe.

Wildlife, Crossing, Migration, American West, US Lands, antelope, ruby mountains, east humboldt range, nevada
Wildlife, Crossing, Migration, American West, US Lands, antelope, ruby mountains, east humboldt range, nevada
Article

New Policies Promise Win for Wildlife in Nevada

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Article

The state of Nevada and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently took independent though complementary steps to protect the state’s migrating wildlife and sagebrush ecosystem—actions that represent a major leap forward for wildlife habitat conservation in Western states.