Sudbury Elk Restoration
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Divided four lane highways pose a hazard to both wildlife and motorists. In order to reduce collisions between vehicles and large animals, the Ministry of Transport has committed to the construction of a wildlife overcrossing over the 4 lane highway near the intersection with highway 637 (Killarney Road).
The Ministry of Transportation – Ontario has begun to take steps to reduce wildlife collisions in Ontario highways.
However nothing is being done by railway companies. Because railways run through hundreds of kilometers of wilderness, out of sight, very little thought is given to the number of wildlife collisions and the effect of the railroad built through sensitive wilderness habitat.
It’s time that we wake up to the fact that hundreds of wild animals are killed each year throughout our railway system in Ontario.
Elk at one time had a large presence in our wilderness before the advent of Europeans in North America. With the re-establishment of Elk in Ontario, we are now faced with a modern dilemma.
There are several factors hindering the Elk herds continued growth, particularly in the Burwash area.
The railway running north/south through prime Elk habitat is of major concern. When there are winters of particularly high snowfall, large animals such as elk, moose and deer tend to use the railway as an easy corridor to move from place to place as they look for good feeding ground. The problem is acerbated by the presence of cedar trees along the rail corridor, a favourite winter browse for elk and deer.
The consequence is a high incidence of elk mortality due to elk/train collisions, mostly during years of high snowfalls. The railway companies need to take immediate action to reduce wildlife collisions.
Options to consider are:
· The removal of browse, especially cedar trees, along the railway corridor.
· Develop a system to deter large animals from walking between the rails.
· Slow down the train in known high risk areas from January to March, especially during periods of winters of high snowfall.
We urge the railway companies to take immediate action to reduce wildlife collisions in the Burwash area.
November 2010 - Volunteers got together on November 27th to remove an elk enclosure that is no longer being used at the Burwash site. The metal fencing was removed and successfully salvaged. Tarps and plastic fencing was also removed and the site cleaned up to return it to its natural state.
The steel fencing will be re-used by the "Wild at Heart" organization. Their plans are to build an enclosure to contain large animals such as Moose and Deer that are being nursed back to health to be then released back into the wild.
Highway 69 Four-Laning - Wildlife Crossing Issues
Divided four lane highways pose a hazard to both wildlife and motorists. In order to reduce collisions between vehicles and large animals, the Ministry of Transport has committed to the construction of a wildlife overcrossing over the 4 lane highway near the intersection with highway 637 (Kilarney Road).