The video shows a map of the Okanagan Connector (Highway 97C) between Aspen Grove and Kelowna, which is prime mule deer habitat. The map includes the wildlife crossing locations of 11 underpasses and one overpass (most, but not all, wildlife crossings on this stretch of highway). The wildlife overpass is the location furthest to the east, nearest to the Highway 97 junction.
You’ll notice the wildlife crossing locations start lighting up with triangles, slowly through the winter months, then faster through the spring and summer months as the mule deer become more active in their movements. It’s evident that, as soon as the snow melts, the mass movement of mule deer proves to happen very quickly.
You’ll also see the triangles vary in size and colour, depending on the number of mule deer and their direction of travel.
By the end of the video, mule deer are shown to have safely crossed Highway 97C 3,700 times using wildlife crossings.
“Watching those numbers climb really impresses me,” says our Wildlife and Environmental Issues Specialist, Leonard Sielecki.
“And this is only showing mule deer – not other types of deer, or other species of wildlife. It means the potential for 3,700 collisions with vehicles was eliminated. These mule deer were not hurt, killed or orphaned – they crossed the highway safely thanks to the crossings made for them.”
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