The Wildlife Accident Reporting System (WARS) in British Columbia
The British Columbia Ministry of Transportation (BCMoT) has been operation its Wildlife Accident Reporting System (WARS) for over 20 years. Through BCMoT’s network of private maintenance contractors, detailed species and location data on wildlife accident is systematically collected on a daily basis on major highways in British Columbia. Information contained in the WARS database provides a unique opportunity to examine the highway/wildlife habitat interface. The database provides a rare and invaluable collocation of information for species of both large and small wild animals that cannot be assembled from any other information sources. The WARS system enables highway planners to reduce the fragmenting effect of highway corridors on wildlife habitats by ensuring wildlife migration routes which cross highway alignments are identified and protected. Efforts are made to protect critical populations of rare or endangered species by providing structures for the animals to cross highways safely. Over time, the WARS system has become a critical component in BCMoT’s continuing efforts to ensure the safety of the motoring public by reducing wildlife mortality on existing highways and the potential for wildlife mortality on new highways. Given its fundamental simplicity, ease of implementation and low operational cost, the WARS system can provide a model is suitable for any transportation agency with the need to document wildlife mortality on roads, highways and railways. The model can be implemented by most transportation agencies within their existing organizational maintenance reporting structures.