Highway 97 pwalxkn (mule deer) Monitoring Project
Hunters for BC would like to acknowledge that this project area is on the traditional and unceded territory of the Okanagan syilx people. We recognize, honour and respect the presence of Indigenous people, past, present and future.
The Highway 97 pwalxkn (mule deer) Monitoring Project is a collaborative effort between Hunters for BC (H4BC) and the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA).
pwalxkn are an essential resource for food security for the Syilx Okanagan people. pwalxkn are important for cultural practices, knowledge transfer, hunter opportunity, and can be an indicator of ecosystem health.
- The project will monitor pwalxkn (mule deer) mortalities along Hwy 97 between Westbank and Penticton adjacent to and near the wildlife fence that parallels the highway.
- While the fence has successfully reduced wildlife-vehicle collisions, pwalxkn (mule deer) mortalities have been observed in the area adjacent to the fence.
This project aims to quantify pwalxkn (mule deer) mortality and assess causation through field assessments
- The project was recently initiated in February 2023, and preliminary results detected pwalxkn (mule deer) mortality adjacent to the wildlife fence. Causation and mortality trends are yet to be determined. Assessments are ongoing and will monitor the influence of seasonality on mortality numbers.
- Additional data on pwalxkn (mule deer) collision mortality data will be acquired from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) and the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC), to compare mortality rates pre-and-post wildlife fence.
- The longer-term goal for this project is to accurately quantify pwalxkn (mule deer) mortality, determine causation, and collaboratively identify appropriate future mitigation measures to reduce wildlife mortality in the Highway 97 corridor.