Habitat Connectivity Assessment and Mapping for Prioritization of Wildlife Crossing Projects

Oregon Department of Transportation's (ODOT’s) current wildlife collision mapping data is subjective and of limited use, providing only low-resolution estimates of kill zones. This data does not show where wildlife are crossing safely and does not show areas that are already a barrier to wildlife movement. For effective crossing site project prioritization, integrating collision mapping data together with wildlife corridor models, predicted traffic models, and climate resiliency mapping is required. Specific objectives include: (1) Delivery of six species-specific corridor maps across each species’ range in the state. Must include mule deer, black-tailed deer, Roosevelt elk, rocky mountain elk, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep. (2) Delivery of initial methodology for prioritization of movement pathways to support OCAMP project tasks (e.g., may use climate resiliency, traffic data, future traffic and growth models, and wildlife-vehicle collision data). (3) Development of ODOT tailored priority maps for identifying critical areas on the highway system with the highest wildlife collision safety concerns. (4) Distribution of these results as (1) presentations to multiple ODOT managers and management teams, (2) presentation to ODOT Environmental Coordinators, Biologists, Planners, and Project Leaders, (3) integration of these spatial data layers into ODOT’s TransGIS environment for readily available maps for use by ODOT or contractors, and (4) publication of final report and potentially additional peer review publications.