YOSEMITE – Yosemite Conservancy has implemented a pilot project that they believe will set the precedent for future wildlife crossing structure work in Yosemite National Park.
Drainages and culverts act as wildlife movement corridors throughout the park. Along Wawona Road, camera monitors have detected 17 species — from black bear and gray fox to a small owl — using them to cross underneath the road.
This fall, two existing culverts along Wawona Road will be modified with shelf-style wildlife crossing structures. We hope that camera monitors installed in the crossing will document Pacific fishers taking advantage of the new path.
Fishers are currently a candidate for listing under the Federal Endangered Species Act and there is a small population living along Wawona Road.
Since 2008, six have been killed by vehicles primarily during the spring fisher denning season when snow melt fills culverts with water, forcing the fishers onto the road.
Park scientists are hopeful the new shelf structures will help keep smaller animals — including the Pacific fisher — safely off the roadway.
Every year Yosemite Conservancy provides grants to Yosemite National Park based on the highest priority needs. These projects include trail repair, wildlife management, visitors services and more. Donations are gratefully accepted.