Welcome to the Wildlife & Driving Page
Did you know that last year in Teton County over 500 animals were killed in Wildlife Vehicle Collisions (WVC)?
- Roughly 50% of these WVCs occur in the winter months (December - March)
- Most of these WVCs occur at night
- Reported roadkill numbers are likely much less than actual mortality numbers
- One estimate of the costs associated with WVCs last year in Teton County exceeded $3M (this estimate does not include WVCs occurring in Grand Teton National Park)
These statistics are based upon a study conducted by the Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation. To view this report please click here.
JHWF Press Release: "Wildlife Advisory Signs Encourages Caution in Documented Crossing Areas.
DEER - VEHICLE
COLLISION HOT SPOTS
ELK - VEHICLE
COLLISION HOT SPOTS
MOOSE - VEHICLE
COLLISION HOT SPOTS
Police Officer aids a woman after she hit a deer.
Warning: graphic content.
Be aware that there is footage of a deer after it was struck by a car at the beginning of this video.
Some viewers were concerned the deer was not put down soon enough. Cpl. Schultz was about to put the deer down after repositioning his car for safety when he saw the human emergency in progress. The deer was put down as soon as possible after the woman was taken care of.
On January 17, 2014 Jackson Police Corporal Roger Schultz was on West Broadway when he came upon a collision in which a vehicle had just struck two deer.
Cpl. Schultz stopped to remove the deer from the roadway. As he was working to clear the road, he noticed a vehicle a short distance to the east, slowly drifting across the five lanes of traffic, into the on-coming lanes.
More alarmingly, he noticed a subject hanging from the driver’s door of the vehicle, being dragged by the vehicle in such a manner that if she were to lose her grip she could easily be run over.
Cpl. Schultz rushed to the woman’s aid and was able to stop the vehicle prior to the woman being harmed. Cpl. Schultz later learned that the woman was the driver of the vehicle that had struck the deer.
When she stopped after the collision, she forgot to place the vehicle in park. As she got out and the vehicle began to move, she was unable to get back inside, lost her balance, and was subsequently being dragged by the vehicle.
Cpl. Schultz’s quick actions may well have saved the woman’s life that night.
Jon Mobeck, Executive Director
Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation
Wildlife Advisory Signs Encourage Caution in Documented Crossing Areas
Jackson, Wyo. — Teton County drivers may have noticed four new wildlife advisory signs on South Highway 89 and two more on WY 22. These visible signs (7 ft. wide by 7.5 feet tall) are designed to heighten awareness within a few of the most intensely utilized wildlife crossing areas in the valley. The signs, which were erected by the Wyoming Department of Transportation as part of a collaborative effort with JHWF, the Town of Jackson and Teton County, encourage caution and slower speeds for the safety of the driver, and for the good of wildlife. They include an advised speed that should be considered at all times, but is especially important to observe from dusk to dawn and during winter when snow accumulations push animals onto or near the highways.
JHWF’s wildlife-vehicle collision data suggest that these locations are known “hotspots” for wildlife crossing throughout the year, so it is best always to be alert where these signs are posted. In the winter of 2016-2017, the 2.4-mile stretch of South Highway 89 that is now defined by the new wildlife advisory signs was the most dangerous for drivers and wildlife, with several dozen wildlife mortalities recorded. The 1.8-mile stretch of WY 22 now flanked by wildlife advisory signs was also an extreme “hotspot.” Like other yellow highway warning signs, the intended message is to proceed through the zone with caution.
“We were very pleased and honored to work with WYDOT and our local government partners to implement as many new measures as possible in anticipation of winter wildlife movement through the valley,” said JHWF Executive Director Jon Mobeck. “To the great credit of WYDOT and our local government, several actions were taken within a matter of weeks. All involved felt that these measures were the most effective and feasible near-term actions.”
Each of these measures were enacted even as discussions continue about long-term solutions to address wildlife mortalities and driver safety concerns on every highway in the valley. The conversations between these entities extends a valuable partnership that also includes many other organizations and agencies. A Wildlife Crossings Master Plan, to be released by the County this year, will provide us with a comprehensive view of our options.
In 2016-2017, JHWF reported 362 known wildlife-vehicle collisions on roadways outside of Grand Teton National Park. As we continue to plan for wildlife crossing structures where they are appropriate within our transportation network, we believe that we must take action today to improve safety for drivers, raise awareness of the most likely collision areas, and educate the public about the known movement areas for wildlife. We are grateful to the Wyoming Department of Transportation, Teton County, the Town of Jackson and many other nonprofit partners for contributing to this effort.