We’ve talked before about the dangers of crossing Highway 17, you may remember 16M, or Atlas, crossed dozens of times and was stuck and injured once. Many pumas and other animals are not as lucky and are killed. Some animals try and dart across highways, while others may use culverts that run under the road to make their way from one side to the other. These culverts vary in their use — some are too small, have large grates covering the entrances, are filled with debris, or have unsuitable habitat on either side.
Last week we met up with biologist Tanya Diamond from Pathways for Wildlife to share data and prioritize potential crossing areas on Highway 17. Overcoming barriers, such as highways or other forms of development, is an essential part of maintaining viable populations. We are very excited for our data to be used to help maintain connectivity across the 17!