The first year of results are in!

March 14, 2017

It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since the Oracle Road wildlife crossings were finished and opened for business. Over the past 12 months, we have been heartened to see many beautiful photos of wildlife using the wildlife bridge and underpass and safely crossing Oracle Road.

Just a few weeks ago, the Arizona Game and Fish Department released their first “progress report” on the crossings. Game and Fish has been gathering data about wildlife use of the crossings using both still and video cameras. They have also begun tracking the movements of nine Sonoran desert tortoises that live near the crossings, with plans to track 12 more in 2017.

In the past year, almost 1200 animals have used the crossings, including mule deer, bobcats, and javelina, with a total of 13 species recorded. Plans for 2017 include continuing to monitor the crossings and also conducting a series of roadkill surveys along Oracle Road to ensure the wildlife fencing is doing its job. There are still a few areas that are un-fenced but we expect these gaps to be filled in 2017.

Check out the full progress report at the Regional Transportation Authority website here. And thanks again for your support of the Coalition’s collaboration with Game & Fish and many other community partners on this project! 

Coyotes in SR77 underpass

Three coyotes using the wildlife underpass on Oracle Road. Photo courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Deer on SR77 overpass

A herd of deer used the Oracle Road wildlife bridge near sunset in October 2016. Photo courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Department

Javelina in SR77 underpass.

Javelinas and their young use the Oracle Road underpass to get across this busy road safely in September 2016. Photo courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Department.