Impact Of Wildlife-Vehicle Conflict On Drivers And Animals (Executive Summary)
Fraser Shilling, David Waetjen, and Kathryn Harrold - 2017
Organization: UC Davis Road Ecology Centre
Using state data on traffic incidents, the Road Ecology Center has mapped stretches of California highway that are likely to be hotspots for wildlife-vehicle conflicts (WVC). Animals entering roadways pose a hazard to drivers, who may collide with the animal, or try to avoid the animal and have an accident suffering vehicle damage, injury, and even death. We estimated the total annual cost to society from >7,000 WVC incidents in California on state highways and a small proportion of major roads to be ~$276 million for 2016, which is a 21% increase over 2015. It is important to note that this report does not cover ALL incidents in California, just the ones reported to the CHP. Allstate Insurance Co. estimates that California had >23,000 claims/year for collisions with wildlife in 2015-2016, which is >3 times the rate we describe here and if included, would result in a total cost to society of >$500 million/year. Wildlife populations may suffer significant losses due to collisions and highways with high rates of WVC may cause ripple effects into surrounding ecosystems. In addition, animals are injured during collisions, which is damaging to both the animal and potentially traumatic to drivers. By identifying stretches of highway where WVC are more likely, the Road Ecology Center is assisting Caltrans and other responsible entities in developing mitigation to protect drivers and wildlife populations.
Document Type: justification to mitigate
other mitigation initiatives
Infrastructure Asset: existing roadway
Fauna: small mammals