In cities like Calgary, where urbanization and population growth are a strong force, and human wildlife-conflicts in the form of WVCs keep pace with the rate of growth, it is time to acknowledge the need to create an urban development strategy that facilitates economic expansion while valuing the presence and protection of wildlife and natural areas.
2014 Urban Fellow
Research Topic: Effects of Urbanization on Wildlife
Faculty Advisor: Susan Clark
Human-Wildlife Cohabitation in an Urban Context: Managing Urban Spaces to Increase Habitat Connectivity and Decrease Wildlife Vehicle Collisions in Calgary, AB
“Wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs) represent a growing safety, conservation, and financial concern across North America, and particularly the West. As wildlands are increasingly fragmented by urban sprawl and expanding transportation infrastructure, the natural and built worlds are literally crashing together on roads – to the detriment of wildlife and humans, alike. The goal of this appraisal is to provide analysis and identify trends that inform policies for the City of Calgary in the Province of Alberta, Canada. Calgary provides an interesting case study for the assessment of WVCs because of its geographic position, physical layout, and rapid rate of development. As the largest species in the city, deer are a particular challenge to manage, and are disproportionately involved in WVCs. Biological process bring deer onto urban and rural highways, but the where and why collisions happen (or don’t) is poorly understood. Only when these biological and physical trends are understood can effective steps be taken to mitigate WVCs.”