How to cross I-70 if you're a beast: a primer

mule deer.jpg
Mule deer crossing under I-70 west of Vail Pass. Photo courtesy Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project.
In this week's cover story, "The Bridge to Somewhere," I look at the rising animal-vehicle collision rate across Colorado and the effort to build a wildlife bridge over Vail Pass. Our relentless interstates have fragmented habitat, disrupted migration patterns -- and led to a lot of nasty roadkill, along the lines of this peculiar Flickr photo collection.

But there are also places where the deer and the antelope can play without crossing guards, thanks to underpasses and other structures -- some intended for wildlife use, some discovered out of necessity. The citizen science project described in my feature, in which motion-triggered cameras were set up at strategic locations between Vail and Copper Mountain, caught a lot of wildlife using the roomy corridors under the bridge spans west of Vail Pass. For a massive collection of wildlife caught in the act of being wild, check out this archive of photos from the monitoring on the Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project website.


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