Wildlife Corridors Action Plan

Statewide Wildlife Mitigation Program and Projects

Program Overview

Development of the Wildlife Corridors Action Plan

The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) in partnership with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) recently finished developing an initial draft of the Wildlife Corridors Action Plan (Plan) in accordance with New Mexico Senate Bill 228, the Wildlife Corridors Act (Act). The Act, signed into law by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in 2019, directs the NMDOT and the NMDGF to develop the Plan for NMDOT roads statewide. The Plan identifies wildlife-vehicle collision hotspots that pose a particularly high risk to the traveling public. Using ecological data and modeling, it also identifies wildlife corridors that bisect roads, and provides a list of priority projects based on the results of the Plan’s analysis.  The Plan focuses primarily on the movements of six large mammals: elk, deer, black bear, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, and mountain lion. However, other sensitive species and confounding factors were also taken into consideration when developing the priority project list. 

A team of national experts led by Daniel B. Stephens and Associates (DBS&A), under contract with NMDOT, developed the Plan in partnership with NMDGF. Using NMDOT crash data and ecological information on wildlife movements, the team applied a science-driven approach to identify areas per the Act that “pose a risk to successful wildlife migration or that pose a risk to the traveling public.” The Plan builds on past and ongoing efforts and is intended to raise support for and consensus in the identification of priority wildlife corridors and priority projects across New Mexico. With the draft Plan now developed, the team is soliciting input from the general public, tribal governments and interested stakeholders.

Rams at Rio Grande Gorge

WILDLIFE CORRIDORS, as defined in the Wildlife Corridors Act, are “areas used routinely by wildlife to travel through their habitat, and include corridors used by migrating wildlife.”

animal paw print

Image of bear tracks at a roadway underpass crossing.

Program Resources

2022 Wildlife Corridor Action Plan - Draft
New Mexico Senate Bill 228

Additional Resources

2021 Determining Effectiveness of Wildlife-Vehicle Collision Mitigation Projects, Phase 1
pawprint images

Public Involvement

We invite you to review the draft Wildlife Action Plan.

The intent of public outreach is to raise support for and consensus in the identification of priority wildlife corridors and priority projects across New Mexico and solicit input from interested community members, tribal entities, governments, and non-government organizations to find common ground and build partnerships for achieving the goals set out in the Act.

The comment period runs from January 12, 2022 to March 12, 2022.  During this time period, two live virtual public meetings will be hosted. Register and join either the meeting on February 1st or February 3rd, review the draft Action Plan, and share your comments.

2022 Wildlife Corridor Action Plan - Draft

Upcoming Events

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Public Meeting (Reunión Pública) for the Draft New Mexico Wildlife Corridors Action Plan by NMDOT and NMDGF

February 1st or February 3rd at 6:00 pm.   You must register to attend.

How to Provide Comments

We hope that you can share your input and support for potential actions that can increase public safety and promote wildlife habitat connectivity. For more information or to provide comments, please contact Matthew Haverland, NMDOT Wildlife Coordinator.

Comment Period: January 12, 2022 to March 12, 2022

Mail Us:
Draft Wildlife Action Plan
Attn: Matthew Haverland
1120 Cerrillos Road, Rm 206
P.O. Box 1149
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Call Us: (505) 470-3656
If no answer, please leave your name & best phone number and we will call you right back!

bird footprints

Program Contact

Matt Haverland – Wildlife Coordinator
NMDOT Environmental Bureau
P.O. Box 1149
Santa Fe, NM 87504
Email: wildlife.corridors@state.nm.us

Escape Ramps like this one allow deer/elk an opportunity to exit or escape road rights-of-way safely.

Corrugated metal pipe structure used as an underpass by mule deer.

Some roadways bisect major winter range and migration corridors for mule deer, elk, and pronghorn.

Black bear is one of the six focal species for this study. 

Mountain lions documented using a NMDOT bridge to cross safely under the highway.