Game and Fish Baggs area biologist Tony Mong also hopes to determine the amount of “back and forth” movement in the wildlife underpasses constructed on Highway 789 within a migration season and determine dispersal patterns from the underpass. The project began in 2011 and is now in its fourth year.
“We will be trapping up to 100 deer per year and attaching the traditional 'visual' ear tags and on a subset of deer a 'visual' white collar to make sure we achieve a viable mark-resight sample size," Mong said. "Currently, there is a trail camera that works well at capturing images of wildlife using the underpass. A web based live trail video camera system has also been installed within the underpass to allow real time observation of the underpass.”
Mong said that in addition to real time observations, all video is being recorded for later analysis. "We will actually be able to see the tagged deer moving back and forth through the underpasses which will allow us to get detailed information on annual survival, detection probabilities and possibly population estimates,” Mong said.