The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will help the Tohono O’odham tribal government fund a study for a proposed road project on State Route 86.
The goal is to find the best possible spots for overpasses and underpasses that will help prevent animal and vehicle collisions along the highway.
“The highly-mobile species that are of most concern are desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, jaguar, which is a federally endangered animal, javelina, and also animals with more limited mobility like the desert tortoise," said Charna Lefton, spokeswoman for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. "A lot of reptiles are also hurt and killed trying to cross that highway.”
SR-86 travels the breadth of the Tohono O’odham Nation and connects the capital, Sells, to Tucson.
The road also connects Tucson to the Lukeville border crossing station, and the popular tourist city of Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico.