‘Road Kill’ from National Parks Needs Tracking
Drivers in America’s national parks are killing the very bears, deer, wolves and other animals they’re hoping to see, says a new report seeking changes to the way park managers deal with conflicts between cars and wildlife, USA Today reported.
“The wildlife is being sacrificed in order to be viewed,” said Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which researched roadkill deaths in national parks. PEER said the 401-unit national park system lacks a systematic way of tracking when wildlife is hurt or killed by drivers, making it hard to reduce roadkill and to gather an accurate count of the national toll.
The public employee group filed Freedom of Information Act requests to collect some snapshots of the toll in some national parks. Yosemite National Park officials, for instance, reported that 300 black bears were struck by cars from 1995-2012, but couldn’t say exactly how many of those died from injuries later. Park officials even launched a campaign to warn drivers about the potential for collisions, but discovered park visitors were stealing the warning signs, PEER found.
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