Arizona Builds Overpasses for Bighorn Sheep

How did the bighorn cross the road? On the overpass! Arizona has taken proactive measures to protect bighorns in the Black Mountains- the largest population of desert bighorn remaining in the United States- from habitat fragmentation by Highway 93. Arizona's DOT and Game and Fish Department collaborated to build three wildlife overpasses on this heavily traveled route to Las Vegas, Nevada. Using GPS locations from collared bighorn, they tracked their movements and identified areas that would best serve the wide-ranging sheep.

How do the sheep find the crossings, you may be wondering. The agencies also installed fencing to guide them away from the busy highway and right to the crossing structures. Providing wildlife with a safe means to get from one side of the road to the other will also minimize costly, annoying, traffic-blocking, and sometimes deadly wildlife-vehicle collisions, improving safety for wildlife and drivers alike. And to top off the good news, these are the first wildlife overpasses to be designed specifically for bighorn sheep ever. Way to take the lead, home state!

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