GPS collar data recently showed that Coyote 8 was using habitat on both sides of I-85 in northeast Atlanta, which made us curious about how she might be crossing the interstate. Highways often serve as barriers to wildlife movement, which creates issues for wildlife populations, such as habitat fragmentation and genetic isolation. Conserving habitat corridors, or stretches of land that connect habitat areas, is a critical issue for wildlife conservation.
To investigate how Coyote 8 might be crossing the interstate, Summer and I went looking for potential corridors across I-85 within her territory. We discovered a culvert (a structure that allows streams to flow beneath roads) with raccoon, domestic cat, and coyote tracks. Culverts can serve as corridors for wildlife since they are a much safer option than crossing roads directly. We are glad that Coyote 8 has a safe method for traveling across her territory and excited to see what else her GPS collar data will reveal.