Big Win for Wildlife in Northern Mexico

In early October, legislation to make wildlife crossings mandatory for roads in Sonora, MX was unanimously passed into state law by Sonoran Congress. This is the first state law of its kind and means that roads like Highway 2, a major highway that parallels the US-MX border in Sonora, will have public policy support to improve wildlife crossings. Read more about the new law here.

Sky Island Alliance, in partnership with the Wildlands Network, studied the impact that vehicle traffic has on wildlife moving frequently across Highway 2. Over the course of 24 surveys, staff documented more than 36 species on the road, including four protected species in MX including American badger (Taxidea taxus) and Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus).

Juan Carlos Bravo, Sky Island Alliance board member and Mexico Program Director for Wildlands Network, explains that data like these are having a real impact on conservation policy, “It’s very encouraging. It’s encouraging to see that legislators are inspired by the work that we’re doing, that they’re inspired by the rationale we’re bringing forward.”

By documenting how roads are a significant source of mortality for wildlife at critical junctions in the Sky Island region, our research can help protect migratory corridors for animals we all love so much. To help identify roadkill hotspots as you drive through the Sky Islands, please take a photograph of the animal and submit it to our Sky Island Nature Watch / Vida de las Islas Serranas project on iNaturalist. In Arizona, there are 8,100 miles of centerline road that pose risk for wildlife, let’s follow our Mexican neighbors’ lead and support more public policy for wildlife crossings!

Mexican officials discuss the need and opportunity to improve this Highway 2 undercrossing to support better safe wildlife passage.



A white-nosed coati approaches a Sonoran crossing that enables animals to safely cross the road above.

Number of dead wildlife documented during Highway 2 surveys in 2016 and 2018.