Great Basin Naturalist

Article Title

Mule deer passage beneath an overland coal conveyer


Presently, information pertaining to migration and daily movement patterns of big game in relation to overland conveyors or large diameter pipelines is sparse. A literature review showed that moose (Alces alces), caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti), reindeer, and dall sheep (Ovis dalli dalli) will pass beneath or over large diameter pipeline systems. But no information was found relative to big game crossing coal conveyor systems. Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) passage beneath an overland coal conveyor in Carbon County, Utah, was studied during spring 1981. Deer avoided crossing at underpass opportunities where the clearance was less than 50 cm. Clearances between 50 and 90 cm were selected for crossing. Deer passed beneath the conveyor during day and nighttime conditions and while the conveyor was either operating or idle. Recommendations are discussed for designing conveyors and pipelines to facilitate big game passage.

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