Species at Risk Road Mortality Project
The Community Stewardship Council of Lanark County received funding from the province of Ontario’s Species at Risk Stewardship Fund to conduct a road mortality survey of wildlife sightings on Lanark county roads.
Roadways negatively affect wildlife (including species at risk) by contributing to loss of habitat, creating barriers to movement, and causing mortality due to vehicle collisions. By documenting the locations and frequency of species at risk on roads we will have a better of idea of where these collision “hotspots” occur and how much our roadways are affecting local populations.
This project provided training and equipment for the Lanark County road crews to document species at risk they encountered, either dead or alive, on county roads. Each road crew were provided with several kits that include a camera, GPS, data sheets and field guides for species identification. After this data was collected, it was verified, mapped, and submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources for inclusion on their databases. This project also involved the development of a protocol and an Identification Guide – Snakes and Turtles that can be used by other counties or municipalities in the future.
While any rare or unusual road sightings are accepted for this project, reptiles are the most frequently hit species at risk. Therefore the following at risk snakes and turtles were “target species” for this project:
- Spotted Turtle (Endangered)
- Gray Ratsnake (formerly Black Ratsnake) (Threatened)
- Blanding’s Turtle (Threatened)
- Eastern Musk Turtle (Threatened)
- Map Turtle (Special Concern)
- Snapping Turtle (Special Concern)
- Eastern Ribbonsnake (Special Concern)
- Milksnake (Special Concern)