Help us make Interstate 90 safer for wildlife

August 11, 2017 Alaina Kowitz

Re-launched I-90 Wildlife Watch project asks motorists in Snoqualmie Pass area to report dead or alive wildlife

By Alaina Kowitz, Communications and Outreach Associate

Conservation Northwest and our partners are excited to announce the re-launch of the I-90 Wildlife Watch project, which aims to receive feedback on wildlife from motorists traveling on I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass! 

We're inviting the 28,000 motorists who use I-90 every day to travel over Snoqualmie Pass to report dead or alive wildlife that they see near the roadway using the newly updated I-90 Wildlife Watch website. This data helps us and our agency partners to better understand where animals are moving and trying to cross the interstate. 

As part of a highway expansion project, the Washington State Department of Transportation has worked with partners, including Conservation Northwest, to install 24 wildlife crossings over and under the interstate on the pass. Many undercrossings are already in place and being used by wildlife big and small, and the first wildlife bridge is set to be completed in 2019.

Visit the I-90 Wildlife Watch website for more information on how to share wildlife locations near I-90 with us!

Deer chasing coyote, Hyak underpass, I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass. Photo: WSDOT
Deer chasing coyote, Hyak underpass, I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass. Photo: WSDOT

Interstate 90 bisects a critical north-south wildlife corridor for animals moving throughout the Cascade Mountains and from the Alpine Lake Wilderness and Mount Rainier National Park. Wildlife crossings help connect animals to more habitat, mates, and food; as climate change continues to alter landscapes, the ability for animals to move will become increasingly important. With your help, we can better understand where animals need to get across I-90! 

“We are now both hearing from motorists on what they see from Interstate 90, and giving them a glimpse of how fish and wildlife are responding to the historic private and public conservation investments in this landscape, most notably new animal crossings under and over the interstate,” said Jen Watkins, lead project coordinator for I-90 Wildlife Watch and Conservation Associate with Conservation Northwest. 

Check out the I-90 Wildlife Watch page today and let us know when you see wildlife on Snoqualmie Pass. 

The I-90 Wildlife Watch project also seeks to share photos of wildlife using the habitat in and around these crossings. Check out the awesome photos below for evidence that these crossings are saving animals' lives and connecting important habitat, all while reducing animal-vehicle collisions and human injury.

Two deer walking under I-90, Gold Creek underpass, I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass. Photo credit: WSDOT
Two deer walking under I-90, Gold Creek underpass, I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass. Photo credit: WSDOT
  
A pika perches on a rock adjacent to the I-90 wildlife undercrossings. Photo credit: WSDOT
A pika perches on a rock adjacent to the I-90 wildlife undercrossings. Photo credit: WSDOT
A family of geese uses a wildlife crossing under Interstate 90. Photo: WSDOT
A family of geese uses a wildlife crossing under Interstate 90. Photo: WSDOT
A coyote in a wildlife crossing under I-90. Photo credit: WSDOT
A coyote in a wildlife crossing under I-90. Photo credit: WSDOT

For more information, visit the I-90 Wildlife Watch website or visit our page on connecting habitat in the Snoqualmie Pass area.

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