Environmental Review Toolkit
Water, Wetlands, and Wildlife

Idaho: Idaho Transportation/Wildlife Database

Google Maps depiction of wildlife linkage areas in Idaho
Google Maps depiction of wildlife linkage areas

The Idaho Highway Wildlife Linkage Wiki (http://www.socialtext.net/idahohighwaywildlifelinkage/index.cgi) is a collaborative website developed by staff of the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), the Idaho Fish and Game Department (IDFG), and partner organizations that allows access and review of wildlife linkage areas along State and Federal highways. ITD and IDFG collected data for the wiki through a statewide study of wildlife habitat linkage areas for the State highway system. The project team utilized the rapid assessment technique, developed by William Ruediger and others at the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service in 2003, to collect known, available information. The project team held a series of workshops throughout Idaho from 2004–2008 to pool the knowledge of State maintenance workers, IDFG biologists and conservation officers, and non-governmental organizations. The data gathered at these workshops were then plotted in GIS and a computer model refined the data and identified wildlife linkage areas. The result was a large-scale depiction of wildlife habitats, including species information, known concerns, relative importance, and the extent of linkage and sensitive wildlife occurrence areas.

3-D representation of Idaho wildlife linkage areas in the landscape
3-D representation of wildlife linkage areas in the landscape

The final results of this data collection and mapping initiative are now publicly available at http://www.socialtext.net/idahohighwaywildlifelinkage/index.cgi. Users can click on map links to view areas around roadways that have known wildlife concerns. When users select a specific linkage area, data appears on the screen, including species present in that location, seasonality, wildlife vehicle collision history and habitat data. This information can be used by resource and transportation agency personnel to identify wildlife habitat areas in corridor planning and early project development; this can also determine areas in need of further study.

The Idaho Highway Wildlife Linkage Wiki is an interactive tool that allows viewers to add comments, keeping the site current and regularly providing fresh information. Since the site and database are open to the public, they also present the potential for citizen science and encourage public interest and participation in wildlife issues.

For more information, contact Brent Inghram at brent.inghram@dot.gov or Gregg Servheen at gservheen@idfg.idaho.gov.

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