In participation with national “Give Wildlife a Brake” week, public-private partners launched I-90 Wildlife Watch, a citizen-based wildlife monitoring project that invites motorists to report wildlife and roadkill sightings along I-90 in the Snoqualmie Pass region of Washington. Some species that can be observed in this area include deer, elk, black bears, cougars, bobcats, coyotes, and skunks.
I-90 Wildlife Watch asks travelers on I-90 between North Bend and Easton to report observations of live or dead wildlife at www.I90WildlifeWatch.org. The user-friendly website, designed by the Western Transportation Institute, includes an interactive map to assist people in pinpointing the location of their sightings, and a brief series of questions about animals sighted.
This program complements other wildlife monitoring work being conducted by the Washington State DOT and its partners, as part of the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project. I-90 crosses the Cascades at Snoqualmie Pass, where traffic volumes average 28,000 vehicles per day and are increasing by about 2.1% per year. While the interstate is a vital east-west transportation corridor in Washington, it also bisects a critical north-south wildlife corridor for animals moving throughout the Cascade Mtns. Through the I-90 Project, WSDOT will help re-connect the north-south wildlife corridors by constructing 24 large wildlife crossing structures along a 15-mile stretch of highway between Hyak and Easton. Structures will range in size from enlarged culverts to 150-foot-wide wildlife bridges.
“I-90 Wildlife Watch is a very timely initiative to engage motorists in reporting wildlife observations during the first year of construction associated with the I-90 Project,” said Jason Smith, Environmental Manager for WSDOT South Central Region. “The information reported by motorists will complement ongoing research to determine which species of wildlife are trying to cross the highway today, and will allow us to assess the ultimate effectiveness of the crossing structures following their construction.”
– Report your own sightings on the I-90 Wildlife Watch website
– More info available on Conservation Northwest’s website and the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project website
– Humane Society of the United States “Give Wildlife a Brake” Week
– The Seattle Times: “New website lets drivers track wildlife along stretch of I-90”