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New road-kill marking system to benefit project

From the Idaho Department of Fish and Game

-- Travelers in southeast Idaho may start noticing some wildlife carcasses-unfortunate victims of vehicle collisions on the side of the road-marked with bright orange paint.

The new paint marking system is part of an overall effort by the Fish and Game and Transportation Departments to understand better the effects of roads and vehicle collisions on Idaho's wildlife, and the effects on public safety.

Both departments as well as various county partners record information about road kills observed along Idaho highways roads. Species, gender, age and location information is collected. Efforts are focused mostly on big game animals, but include other species such as raptors.

The paint marking system was devised to reduce duplication of road-kill reports and information. If Fish and Game, Transportation or other agency personnel are called to remove a dead animal from a roadway, and the carcass has been marked with orange paint, they know not to record the road-kill information because it has already been done.

Data collection forms have been modified and are consistent among the various agencies assisting with the pick-up of wildlife road mortalities. All historic road-kill data has been entered into a new statewide database created in a joint effort by Fish and Game, Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.

Standardized and complete data is essential to accomplish the main objective of reducing collisions between wildlife and motorists. All data entered is important to identifying wildlife crossing areas, public safety concerns, ecological linkage areas and sites where overpasses, underpasses and adjacent land use management can benefit wildlife and public safety.

Accurate data will help resolve wildlife mortality issues and hopefully continue to bring in funding for projects aimed at reducing wildlife mortalities and improving public safety on roads.

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