Wildlife & Roadways: Incorporating Wildlife-Management Strategies Into Road Infrastructure in Southern Ontario
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Wildlife-road conflict has a profound negative impact on both wildlife populations and society. Ecological effects, human safety concerns, and economic consequences all contribute to the need to mitigate against wildlife-road conflict. As such, this study examines the incorporation of wildlife management strategies (WMS) into road infrastructure. Such projects include wildlife fencing, wildlife crossing structures, road closure schedules, etc. The purpose of the study was to develop an understanding of the decision-making process that leads to successful incorporation of WMSs by applying the concept of Critical Success Factors. Projects at the provincial and municipal level that involve WMSs were identified. Qualitative semi-structured interviews with decision-makers and key stakeholders involved with these projects were conducted to determine the experience of each project with regards to the development and implementation of the WMSs. The information collected from the interviews was then analyzed using a mixed Grounded Theory and Qualitative Content Analysis approach to identify the critical factors involved in incorporating wildlife management strategies. Finally, a decision support tool was developed based on this analysis as a way of operationalizing the findings of this research for application in the field.