SONORA, MEXICO (October 9, 2018) – The State Congress of Sonora has issued an exhortation to Mexico’s federal transportation agency, the Secretariat of Communications and Transports (SCT), to address fatal wildlife vehicle collisions by building wildlife crossings in the State. The exhortation also asks the SCT to conduct research to determine where in Sonora such structures might be a priority. The Congress issued the exhortation in response to the death of a female black bear, who was struck and killed by a motorist on Mexico’s Highway 2 on September 22.
Wildlife crossings are usually bridges or tunnels that allow animals to cross highways safely, and include fencing along roadsides that can prevent wildlife from crossing in places where a vehicle may hit them. Such crossings have been used effectively in several countries—including the U.S.—to reduce wildlife vehicle collisions, thus enhancing species protection and motorist safety.
Highway 2 in Sonora, where the black bear was killed, bisects the Sky Islands region that Arizona and New Mexico share. The region is considered one of the most biologically important areas in North America, and experts have warned that the growing number of obstacles in the Sky Islands, such as the existing sections of the border wall and the expanding Highway 2, threaten to curb wildlife movement, isolating vulnerable black bear populations in Mexico—where the species is considered endangered—and eliminating any possibility that jaguars and ocelots might effectively recolonize their ancestral grounds in Arizona.
“We celebrate the decision of Sonora’s Congress to hold the SCT accountable for mitigating the impact Highway 2 has on black bears and other species in the region,” noted Juan Carlos Bravo, who serves as Mexico Program Director of Wildlands Network, an international nonprofit that promotes wildlife conservation and advocates for habitat corridors that allow for animal movement. “Mexico has an opportunity to lead by example on the issue of bi-national connectivity by ensuring that shared species can move freely over the Sonoran landscape, while protecting motorists from potentially fatal collisions.”
While the exhortation is not legally binding, the SCT cannot ignore the state lawmakers’ demand to address an increasingly relevant issue, especially one that endangers both wildlife and people as the modernized highways of Sonora see increased traffic and higher travel speeds.
- For more information on the death of the black bear and to see a map of where the death occurred, view our press release.
- For more information on the dangers Highway 2 poses to wildlife and people, view our infographic.
- View the State Congress’s official exhortation.
- Photos courtesy of SoyCobre. (Warning: These are graphic.)
Wildlands Network envisions a world where nature is unbroken, and where humans co-exist in harmony with the land and its wild inhabitants. Our mission is to reconnect, restore, and rewild North America so life in all its diversity can thrive.
Juan Carlos Bravo: +521 662 187 38 10, firstname.lastname@example.org