Kootenay National Park Wildlife Fences
Kootenay National Park wildlife fences along Highway 93 help protect wildlife. As there is seasonally important habitat on both sides of the highway, the fence creates a barrier and mortality risk to wildlife large and small. For small mammals, the highway makes it almost impossible to move across the valley floor. For larger mammals, it is an impediment to finding food, shelter, and mates.
To increase visitor safety, grow wildlife populations and increase connectivity for wildlife across the landscape, in 2013, Parks Canada completed a wildlife crossing project near the Dolly Varden Day Use Area, along a stretch of Highway 93 that traditionally saw around 50 large mammals killed by vehicles annually. Deer were the most common victims, but many other species had been hit, including lynx and wolverines. The construction included a 4.7-kilometre stretch of fence along both sides of the highway, as well as three underpasses. The initial fencing project proofed to be a success in reducing wildlife mortality, and was expanded to include a section of highway further east in 2015, with an additional underpass.
To dive more deeply into the subject of wildlife mortality in Kootenay National Park, read reports here: Wildlife Mortality Data for Kootenay National Park.