Wildlife

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

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

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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On Earth Day and Everyday – Green Matters to TranBC

Bike to Work Week

Have you ever wondered what the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is doing to support green initiatives across the province? Look no further. In celebration of Earth Day we gathered some of our favourite green projects for you. We don’t think green for just one day out of a year, we work all year long to make sure sensitive ecosystems and wildlife are protected. That includes turtles… and toads… and caribou… and let’s not forget about bears, moose, deer,...

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Kids Hop to Toad Research to Protect Amphibians on Roads

When some kids from the Cowichan area were asked if they wanted to monitor toads and other amphibians on the move near highways, they jumped on it! The kids leapt at the chance to test road survey kits, developed by the Young Naturalists’ Club (YNC) of BC, when they learned that efforts to observe and record amphibian travel could potentially lower the number of frogs, toads, salamanders and newts that are killed on B.C. highways. We supplied the Cowichan...

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4 Types of Transportation Engineers

March is National Engineering Month, a celebration of all Canadians who invent, design, build, maintain and improve. What better time to reflect on our own Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure engineers? There are approximately 230 staff members in our Engineering Branch, representing four areas of expertise. Each type of engineer is vital for building and maintaining highways that are safe, reliable and have a minimal impact on the beautiful environments they run through. So, without further ado, here is...

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9 Reasons to Watch for Wildlife on Westside Road and Beyond

Bighorn Sheep in Okanagan

One of our ministry staff was driving along Westside Road near Kelowna recently and got a bit of a wildlife surprise. Nine bighorn sheep were gathered at the edge of the road, overlooking the lake! Have a look yourself: Did you know? Keeping an eye out for wildlife on the highway while you’re driving can prevent hazards to you both. And to help you in your travels, we’ve compiled some handy tips on how you can treat all of...

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4 Paths to Protecting Painted Turtles in the Creston Valley

Gravel and sand with a sunny southern exposure… If you were selling real estate to Western Painted Turtles ready to lay eggs, this would be a hot property. However, the saying about “location, location, location” holds true for turtles as well as humans. When a perfectly warmed gravel and sand pile is a road shoulder alongside a well-travelled route like West Creston Road, this is a risky nesting spot due to road maintenance work like shoulder grading. To protect...

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Why There’s Heavy Machinery in the Lougheed Hwy Wetlands

There’s a careful balance between making highways safer and preserving nature. When we widened Lougheed Highway 7 to four lanes between Nelson and Wren streets in Mission a few years ago, we had to sacrifice a portion of local fish habitat. But we also committed to help restore that habitat, which is important for salmon and other wildlife along the Stave and Fraser rivers. Phase 1 of the restoration was completed at the Silverdale Wetland last year. And if...

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How We Helped Protect 1000s of Years of BC History on Vancouver Island

Recently, along the shores of the Tseycum First Nation on Vancouver Island, we worked in partnership with the Tseycum people to prevent a portion of the Patricia Bay beach from eroding and washing out West Saanich Road. But it turned out that road restoration was only a piece of what we accomplished here. We also expanded wildlife and salmon habitat at Wsikem Creek, helped protect and monitor precious artifacts and ancestral remains as well as create lasting relationships along...

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Keeping Wildlife Moving Along the SFPR

As people drive the new South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR) from Surrey to Delta, a whole other world is unfolding around them. Creatures like otter, deer, mink, waterfowl, nesting birds, turtles and coyotes are going about their daily lives seeking food, raising their young and bedding down for some rest. That’s because when we developed the SFPR, to enhance mobility and safety for people, we worked hard to minimize disruptions for other living beings – like birds, wildlife and...

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Checking Culvert Choices for Highway Crossing Critters Near Nanaimo

                                    If you were an amphibian or reptile, what kind of culvert would you choose to cross under the highway? For us, it’s an important question because the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure wants these critters to use culverts as tunnels, to move safely below highways. We really don’t want them risking their necks (though it’s difficult to identify the neck on...

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