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Thu, Feb

UBC Study Finds Family-Friendly Overpasses are Needed to Help Grizzly Bears

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Researchers have determined how female grizzly bears keep their cubs safe while crossing the Trans-Canada Highway.

Researchers have determined how female grizzly bears keep their cubs safe while crossing the Trans-Canada Highway.

Adam Ford, Canada Research Chair in Wildlife Restoration Ecology at UBC’s Okanagan campus, along with Montana State University’s Tony Clevenger, studied the travel patterns of grizzlies in Banff National Park between 1997 and 2014. In most cases, a mother bear travelling with cubs opted to use a wildlife overpass instead of a tunnel to cross the highway.

“We used data from Canada’s longest and most detailed study of road-wildlife interactions,” explains Ford, an assistant professor of biology. “We found that grizzly bear females and cubs preferred to use overpasses to cross the highway.”

During the 17-year study period, bears not travelling in these family groups used both underpasses and overpasses.

Read more at University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus

Image: A screen shot from Banff's Temple overpass shows a female grizzly escorting her cubs across the Trans-Canada Highway. (Credit: UBC Okanagan)