Tracking Cougars to Figure Out Where to Build a Bridge

Highways that cut through wild areas present a daunting barrier for local wildlife. In Washington State, the Olympic Cougar Project—a partnership between a coalition of Native American tribes and the Washington State Department of Transportation—is studying the movements of cougars as they wander through parts of the Olympic Peninsula. Information gathered by the group could lead to the placement of wildlife crossings over Interstate 5—bridges built for wandering animals, intended to improve the overall health of the ecosystem. Stephanie Keith, a photographer with Reuters, recently joined project members as they tracked a wild cougar named Lilu.

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