Long-term suitability of wildlife crossing structures for species movements across US highway 93 in Western Montana

Structures that allow wildlife to safely cross highways, including overpasses, landbridges, and wildlife underpasses, are increasingly attracting the attention of organizations that want to minimize wildlife-vehicle collisions and improve road permeability to wildlife movements. Research demonstrates that crossing structures with wildlife exclusion fencing decrease wildlife-vehicle collisions, however questions persist about how to best design structures with connectivity and wildlife movement goals in mind. Luca’s research focuses on assessing the long-term suitability of crossing structures to wildlife movements and seeks to answer questions related to wildlife species habituation rates and wildlife willingness to use structures over time. Using historic and present camera trap data from a series of wildlife underpasses along US Highway 93 that travels through the Flathead Reservation in Western Montana, Luca will assess how various species’ acceptance/rejection of structures has changed since structure construction nearly 10 years ago. The project will investigate how wildlife use of crossing structures and habituation rates have developed over time and has implications for the design of future crossing structure projects.




Luca Guadagno, Western Resource Fellow | Luca is a Master of Environmental Science candidate at the Yale School of the Environment interested in the connections between nature based climate solutions, landscape-level conservation, and community-driven land stewardship. At YSE, he works on research and stakeholder engagement related to tree planting and forest management for multiple benefits, including for carbon drawdown, income generation, and ecosystem services. Before coming to YSE, Luca worked on human-wildlife coexistence research in Kenya and worked as an environmental educator. He received his B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science from Tufts University.  See what Luca has been up to.Blog