Oracle Road Wildlife Crossings Results
Now that the Oracle Road wildlife crossings are finished, a 4-year monitoring program has begun to document all the wildlife using these crossings. Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) is spearheading the program, with collaboration from the Coalition and Sky Island Alliance. We’ll be updating this page regularly with new photos and videos of wildlife using the Oracle Road wildlife crossings as these images become available.
In April 2016, the AGFD installed 8 video cameras and 4 still cameras (all motion-activated) on the new Oracle Road wildlife bridge. They also installed 4 still cameras on the wildlife underpass. AGFD will also be conducting roadkill surveys, monitoring the movements of Sonoran Desert tortoises in the area of the crossings, and providing recommendations for the adaptive management of the structures.
The full write-up of the AGFD monitoring plan can be found here.
All video footage and still photos courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Department.
Video footage of animals using the wildlife bridge
Still photos of wildlife using both the wildlife bridge and wildlife underpass
August 2016 Update
AGFD just shared some notable statistics from the first three months of monitoring (April-June 2016).
Mule deer have continued to be very active on the wildlife bridge. In the first three months, 113 total mule deer crossed the bridge in 55 crossing events. 16 mule deer also used the underpass. 28 coyotes have crossed the bridge in 23 crossing events whereas 72 coyotes have used the underpass in 59 crossing events. 47 javelina and 13 bobcats have used the underpass.
Some other wildlife species that have been captured in the underpass approach areas, but were not conclusively documented using the entire crossing, include Desert Cottontail, Common Raven, Great-Horned Owl, Greater Roadrunner, Lark Sparrow, and a hummingbird. Understandably, a few of these are birds and wildlife crossings are less important for them (with the exception of low-flying birds that continue to have safety issues with vehicles).
It is very exciting to continue to receive this conclusive data and evidence that these wildlife crossings are working, improving safety for both people and wildlife. And we expect even more wildlife species to start using the crossings in the months ahead as they adapt to these new structures.
December 2016 Update
Here are some new photos from the Oracle Road wildlife crossings, including a picture showing the overpass looking more vegetated than it has in the past. AGFD continues to document wildlife regularly using both crossings.
March 2016 Update
The Arizona Game and Fish Department recently released their first official progress report on the Oracle Road wildlife crossings. The full report can be found here. Some highlights include:
- 1182 individual animals have used the wildlife bridge and underpass since March 2016 when data collection began.
- 13 different wildlife species have used the crossings.
- Mule deer, javelina, bobcat, and coyote have used the crossings the most.
For more even data and details on what Game and Fish has planned for 2017, check out the full report.