The United States faces a big roadkill problem. The number of large wildlife killed in California, Idaho, and Maine state highways averaged at 8.4, 8.7, and 15.2 per day, respectively. These numbers have gone down since the COVID-19 pandemic started and road travel decreased considerably. Still, the figures are worrisome: the number of large wildlife killed on these three highways in 2020 averaged at 6.6, 5.4, and 8.4 per day.
With speeding vehicles being the culprit of these wildlife deaths, park rangers have taken to using radar guns to protect wild animals that are, by all rights, in their natural habitat.
An Unlikely Tool for Wildlife Protection
Park rangers in the U.S. don a number of hats and as they are understaffed, tools are needed to effectively catch rowdy drivers on national parks. Radar guns have proven useful since they work at a distance and produce readings that hold water in law enforcement.
While some argue that reducing the speed limit is not enough to save wildlife from roadkill, it is a start. Drivers are better able to brake and come to a full stop in time to avoid hitting crossing deer, elk, bears, and other large animals if they’re driving slowly or at less than 45 mph.
Armed with radar guns, park rangers all over the country are policing motorists who exceed the prescribed speed limits for the areas they cover. The limits vary on each state and highway. For instance, the range is usually from 70 to 55 mph, but Yellowstone National Park has a 45 mph maximum speed.
In 2019, park rangers at Yosemite cracked down on speed limit violators and aggressively enforced the speed limits especially in areas where bears frequented.
These measures are not only to protect wildlife, however, but also human life. Tourists and commuters who use park roads daily are also at risk when motorists go over the speed limits for narrow roads designed for leisurely and scenic driving.
Speeding Is a Problem
Locals and tourists who cut through national parks are putting wild animals in danger. Park managers and law enforcement rangers have had to contend with this problem on top of traffic management and poaching. In 2018 alone, the National Park Service recorded more than 25,000 speeding stops across 419 parks, parkways, and battlefields in the country.
Long expanses of highways attract speeding drivers, who step hard on the accelerator even on roads lined with warning signs for crossing wildlife and people.
What’s more sobering is that while the available data already show great numbers, the records are merely the tip of the iceberg. There’s currently no comprehensive record of every species that ends up dead on highways, and even for animals that are being tracked, not all are accounted for. The nonprofit organization, Culture Change estimates that for every roadkill animal that’s recorded, three to four are unnoticed and undocumented.
Speed limits may not solve the problem of roadkill completely, but they are one of the better solutions that can produce good results once enforced.
Powerful Radar Guns for Speed Rangers
Park rangers need reliable equipment that will enable them to perform their duty of protecting wildlife. As radar guns have proven useful, it’s only responsible to equip them with the best radar guns in the market.
Radar Gun Sales offers a broad variety of radar guns for police and traffic enforcement. These range from portable, handheld devices to mounted radar guns with LED display boards. We carry brands like Stalker, Sports Radar, Pocket Radar, Jugs, Phantom, Bushnell, and more. Browse our website to see all available options.
Give park rangers the tools to protect wild animals that are rightfully in their natural habitat. For inquiries, contact Radar Gun Sales.