Laurentides wildlife reserve : the mortality rate of pig-épics explodes

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SAGUENAY | The road to four lanes divided in the Laurentides wildlife reserve is a deadly to an entire population of porcupines, which has seen its mortality rates explode, according to a study, the results of which were announced on Tuesday.

Researchers at Concordia University have expressed fear that the population of porcupines is assigned permanently to the result of the enlargement of the 175 between Saguenay and Québec. According to a professor in the department of geography, planning and environment at Concordia University that looked at the issue during four years, the designers of road should absolutely incorporate new measures of protection to ensure the survival of certain wildlife populations.

Jochen Jeager and his team have investigated the mortality rate of small and medium-sized species at the edge of this highway, which has been the subject of a huge site between 2005 and 2013. At a cost of$ 950 Million, its expansion has been achieved following strong pressures from the Access group-Blueberries. Created in the late 80’s, the movement called for the enhancement of the security on the link that was commonly called ” the death Road “.

During four summers, the researcher Jeager and his team have identified more than 900 animal carcasses on a stretch of 68 km of the 175. The very large majority of the dead animals were porcupines. “Their reproductive rate is very low and much smaller than that of other mammals of the same size. A couple of porcupines has only one baby per year, ” insisted the professor Jeager.

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It suggests the integration of certain measures to protect them, such as the creation of ties to animals, above the floor. “The only place where it can be found in Canada, it is in the Banff national Park. Several of these passages have been built over the motorway, and it works very well, ” explains Judith Plant, a master’s student in geography.

Among the other solutions that would prevent that some animals of small or medium sizes would be killed by motorists, the researcher recommends the addition of underpasses to the 33 already existing.

It also calls for fencing to guide the animals towards the entrance of the passages are elongated. In the course of his research, his team has identified numerous cases of road mortality to the ends of the barriers.

“The departments of Transportation, is a concern mostly large animals, such as moose and bear, as they cause accidents, while small and medium-sized mammals do not generally cause, unless a driver makes a move of the steering wheel to avoid them,” says professor Jeager. He states that his study is the first that has focused on the effect on road mortality in medium and small mammals.