Wildlife

Information on the work the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure does to improve wildlife safety and mitigation on our highways.

New Platform Offers Nesting Opportunity for Ospreys

Osprey 1

What the heck do ospreys and the BC Ministry of Transportation have in common? Would you believe the W.R. Bennett Bridge? You see, we aren’t just responsible for highways and the travellers who use them; we’re also responsible for wildlife living alongside BC highways and in recent years a family of ospreys have decided to call this bridge home. Known for their dramatic dives into water to catch live fish, ospreys construct their nests on top of dead trees,...

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Why BC is On the Alert against Mussel Invaders

Protect your boat

BC is on guard against nasty invasive mussels that attach themselves to boats in freshwater. (Not to be confused with useful, attractive muscles attached to people.) Specifically it’s quagga and zebra mussels that we’re preventing from entering our province. That’s why on BC’s roads you might see signs for watercraft inspection stations. The signs are directed to all boaters – those with power boats, row boats, inflatable boats, kayaks, canoes and even paddleboards. If it floats, the Ministry of...

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Behind the Scenes: BC Wildlife, Trucks Saved from Collision

Wildlife Detection System

Now that the two Wildlife Detection Systems on Highway 3 have been operating for about three months, we thought you’d be interested is seeing some of the thermal camera footage we’ve captured showing the system safely guiding interactions between vehicles and animals. How do these thermal cameras work? They create images based on heat radiating from animals and objects such as vehicles. There are nine thermal cameras set up in each wildlife detection corridor, and they work in conjunction...

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What’s the Best Thing About the New Luxor Creek Bridge?

What’s the Best Thing About the New Luxor Creek Bridge?

Sometimes we work on a project that changes not just the highway, but the world around it. Such was the case with our recent work on scenic Highway 95 at Luxor Creek.  A key wildlife corridor connecting important animal habitats between the Purcell and Rocky Mountains is a step closer to reality thanks, in part, to the new Luxor Creek Bridge. To say we are thrilled to be a part of making it happen is an understatement  (normally, our...

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New Way to Protect Wildlife on Highway 3

Wildlife Detection Systems BC Highway 3

We’re trying something new to reduce deer and elk collisions where they happen most – Highway 3 between Cranbrook and the Alberta border. Two high-tech wildlife detection systems are installed at two locations: Site 1: approximately 1 km east of Elko Site 2: approximately 2 km east of Sparwood Ministry staff is now testing to ensure the systems, which include radar and thermal cameras, are working correctly before turning the systems on for travellers. Once activated, sensors will trigger...

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How Thinking like a Fish Helped Build the Heart Creek Bridge

DSCN3692

If you want to attract fish, you need to think like a fish (or so the old adage goes). Until recently, any fish swimming up Heart Creek under BC Highway 6 in Fauquier might have been thinking that the world was conspiring against them. That’s because the culvert carrying Heart Creek under the highway had been badly undercut from scouring during freshet runoff in recent years, making spawning upstream of it almost impossible. Fear not little fishes! That pesky...

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On the Case for Safety: Wildlife Detection Systems on Highway 3

Installation 2

If you have travelled BC Highway 3 lately, you might have noticed some special looking signs and equipment being installed at the side of the road. What’s the scoop? Well, because deer, elk, and moose can sometimes wander onto B.C.’s highways and have the potential to cause serious crashes, we are piloting two new high-tech wildlife detection systems on Highway 3 to help keep both motorists and wildlife safe. How do they work? When large animals approach the highway,...

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Why We Use Wildlife Overpasses on BC Highways

Bear and cub overpass

Wild animals love British Columbia. Of course they do – it’s varied terrain makes it a haven for beasts and creatures of all shapes and sizes. Both small and large species, from the gigantic moose to the night-crawling raccoon, pose potential hazards for drivers, and vise versa. A large animal can make a serious impact, while a smaller animal can startle a driver into swerving and losing control of their vehicle. It’s our job to prevent animals and drivers...

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Behind the Scenes: Monster Trucking for Wildlife Safety

crawler entering culvert

Most jobs discourage playing with toys. But when it comes to maintaining the many amphibian crossings on Vancouver Island, only a mini monster truck will do. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure modified a remote controlled truck to inspect the small highway underpasses that offer amphibians and small mammals safe passage from one side to the other. The culverts are too small for ministry workers to crawl through for inspections, so they use this four-wheel-drive “culvert crawler” for the...

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What the Heck are Ungulate Guards and Why Do We Use Them?

Kingsvale ungulate guard 1

Keeping motorists and wildlife separated on BC highways is a big job, but the safety of the travelling public is our first priority. That’s why we are excited about the recent installation of two ungulate guards at Exit 256, Kingsvale on Highway 5 (the Coquihalla). What the heck is an ungulate guard you ask? Let us explain. “Ungulate” is the scientific name for any animal with hooves (such as a deer, cattle, pigs, horses) and an “ungulate guard” is...

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