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In the Gem State, you can claim dead animals as long as you report what you take from the road.
When it comes to obscure state government data resources, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s Roadkill and Salvage online portal might be the most appropriate to highlight on World Wildlife Day.
In Spring 2012, a new law in the Gem State took effect allowing people to salvage roadkill. More than 4,800 animals have been retrieved since then, the Lewiston Tribune reports.
Although the decades-old database doesn’t include all recoveries, about 15 percent of recorded roadkill is recovered. Residents in Idaho’s northern panhandle reclaim the most wildlife, the Tribune reports. That’s 1,803 animals since the database was launched.
“We have made some tentative work toward trying to address the problem, but we have a long way to go to help driver safety and to keep our wildlife and drivers safe,” Wildlife Program Coordinator Gregg Servheen told the newspaper.
Outside of helping biologists pinpoint where vehicles are most likely to hit animals and to put wildlife underpasses, the law makes meat that would otherwise go bad available—so long as people report their take within 24 hours.
What may be salvaged? According to the Department of Fish and Game:
Individuals may recover and keep wildlife species classified as upland birds, upland game animals, big game, furbearers, and predators that may be lawfully hunted or trapped that have been killed by accidental vehicle-collisions. Unprotected non-game wildlife are also legal for salvage. However, protected non-game wildlife, Threatened or Endangered species, migratory birds (which are federally protected), and other wildlife species not lawfully hunted or trapped may NOT be recovered, possessed, or salvaged.
Mule and white-tailed deer, elk, moose, coyotes, black bears, pronghorn and porcupines are all common roadkill. Bighorn sheep, however, cannot be purchased, bartered or sold.
Just don’t ask us what porcupine tastes like.
Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty.
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