Skip to content

Animal Bridges and Wildlife Crossings

I recently read a statistic — nearly 70% of Florida panthers were killed by vehicles in 2012. That’s stupendous; visit Wildlife Extra to learn more. So while overall their populations are faring well, our state could definitely use some more of these most amazing animal bridges in key wildlife areas….

TwistedSifter

 

Animals bridges, which may also be known as ecoducts or wildlife crossings, are structures that allow animals to safely cross human-made barriers like highways. A wildlife crossing is the broadest term and can include: underpass tunnels, viaducts, overpasses and bridges, amphibian tunnels, fish ladders, culvets and green roofs. [Source]

Wildlife crossings are a practice in habitat conservation, allowing connections or reconnections between habitats and combating habitat fragmentation. They also assist in avoiding collisions between vehicles and animals, which in addition to killing or injuring wildlife may cause injury to humans and property damage. It has been reported that vehicle-animals collisions costs the United States a staggering $8 Billion a year.

The first wildlife crossings were constructed in France during the 1950s. European countries including the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, and France have been using various crossing structures to reduce the conflict between wildlife and roads for…

View original post 425 more words

33 Comments Post a comment
  1. I never knew about animal bridges. How great.

    January 10, 2013
    • And they’ve done them so beautifully! We need more, though — in our state, especially.

      January 11, 2013
  2. I learned about animal bridges on the road trip to Yellowstone this past Summer – interesting concept and keeps the animals wild and away from human interaction. Have a Great One:)

    January 10, 2013
    • They’re wonderful devices, and long overdue — we need more of them desperately in our own state, but certain people fight them. And with 70% panthers killed last year alone due to vehicle collisions, well, I don’t know a better use of ’em!

      January 11, 2013
  3. I was thrilled to see that they included the one in Washington State (Lake Keechelus, across I-90). One of my interpretive signage projects that I designed for the Mountains to Sound Greenway, included a panel near there explaining the upcoming wildlife bridge. It is a fantastic concept, which hopefully will enable large mammals like gray wolves, grizzlies, wolverines, lynx, and others to move between large remaining areas of habitat in the North Cascades and Mt. Rainier. We Washingtonians are pretty excited about this! Check out Mountains to Sound Greenway to learn more!

    January 10, 2013
    • How WONDERFUL! So you personally worked on explaining such a project…. FANTASTIC!

      They’ve been in discussions for years in our state, to implement them — but certain…ahem…”groups” are steadfastly against them. But with 70% of Florida Panthers killed last year alone due to vehicle collisions — and other endangered animals constantly killed on the roads — conservationists hopefully haven’t given up the battle.

      January 11, 2013
  4. bobca1947@comcast.net #

    Very cool.  We actually saw a number of these animal bridges on our trip to Banff Canada.  The Canadians even had some under highway tunnels as well for the critters.

    January 10, 2013
    • I remember you guys talking about the Banff bridge…. That’s probably one of the more famous examples! I’ve seen images of others through the years, but that one ALWAYS pops up!! 🙂

      January 11, 2013
  5. Saw this the other day. Just fabulous!

    January 10, 2013
    • They’re so amazing… I learned about them years ago, when they began in earnest to build them. We need more! More! 🙂

      January 11, 2013
  6. Various animal corridors and underpassages have been discussed in Florida reference the Panthers and the Bears. I have always thought it made sense to have passageways so that roads do not stop the normal migrations and patterns of wildlife or separate the habitats in an unnatural way and that the flow is not across the road. Right now if you go to places like Highway 29 around Everglades City you will see tall metal fences lining the road on both sides keeping the panthers from crossing the road and coming into traffic. But I think doing that does keep them separated from each other too. Of course, hating to feel caged I look at the fences as a visual obstruction looking out or looking in. The fences make passageways even more necessary.

    There are interesting things to consider to keep the habitats healthy and to allow natural roaming so I look forward to fruition of some of the ideas for Florida. I think they are needed. I thought this post was very interesting as I had not been aware of those animal bridges before.

    January 10, 2013
    • You’re right… They’ve been DISCUSSED. For years — and dismissed. How, I’ll never understand. People are in awe of how they’ve been shot down….!

      I’ve seen the fences. Not only are they hideous (as you say — they’re cages, but do their job to a degree). But they don’t do the job that the corridors and tunnels do, in allowing the animals access to their natural food and water supplies that have been so rudely cut off by our monster vehicles and roads. So many more states and countries are doing the wildlife passages… Yet Florida remains far behind.

      How anyone can remain steadfastly against them is beyond me. But with 70% of Florida Panthers killed last year alone due to vehicle collisions — and other endangered animals constantly killed on the roads — conservationists hopefully haven’t given up the battle.

      January 11, 2013
  7. I love it when they bother to have both trees/scrub and an open area on the bridge. (The bridge that is just bare lawn makes me wince – what animal would feel comfortable crossing that?) It’s still probably dangerous for a lot of the animals to be so squeezed, and I’m sure territorial predators consider the bridge prime territory; but at least when a wolf eats you, it eats you. Trucks just smear you.

    January 10, 2013
    • I’ve always wondered that….! Years ago, when they started building them, I was asking myself — turf? Really? You’re gonna go through ALL this work and love to build these contraptions, with the goal to help wildlife… and then throw turf on the path to really confuse the critters?

      I’ve read a few things about how the crowding in the bridges confuses, and creates opportunities for predators. But at least the larger critters, perhaps the predators themselves, now have a better chance at survival against our monster-machines and massive roads…. And we need more of ’em (the crossings, that is!!).

      January 11, 2013
  8. I’ve seen the crossings in Banff and have always been intrigued by them. The reports I’ve read claim they are successful. It was interesting to see the various versions of them.

    January 10, 2013
    • I think the Banff one is probably the most famous — at least, that’s the one I always see. 🙂

      They’ve been in discussions for years in our state, to implement them — but certain…ahem…”groups” are steadfastly against them. But with 70% of Florida Panthers killed last year alone due to vehicle collisions — and other endangered animals constantly killed on the roads — conservationists hopefully haven’t given up the battle.

      There are a few issues with them — another blogger actually just brought them up — but overall, I agree. What’s better, leaving them to contend with the monster-machines and massive roads, or giving them a fighting chance at a crossing, to reach their food and supplies?

      January 11, 2013
      • I’ll take the fighting chance anytime.

        January 11, 2013
      • Most definitely. We need many more of them… Why they’re not everywhere down here, in fact, in light of the numbers, I’ll never understand.

        January 11, 2013
  9. The bridge in photos #7 is about 60 miles from where I live and I have driven under it dozens of times. It has been very effective and well used by an interesting and sometimes surprising variety of wildlife.

    January 10, 2013
    • Ah, that’s wonderful!!! So you’ve seen its success in action. I’ve been reading about them for years — the pros and cons — but obviously the pros FAR outweigh any potential cons.

      We need more… Many more. They’ve been in discussions for years in our state, to implement them — but certain…ahem…”groups” are steadfastly against them. But with 70% of Florida Panthers killed last year alone due to vehicle collisions — and other endangered animals constantly killed on the roads — conservationists hopefully haven’t given up the battle.

      January 11, 2013
      • This one was part of a quite extensive highway improvement and included about 40 underpasses for animals, fencing, etc in about 56 miles of highway, all of which have been effective. The problem though is cost. The animal bridge itself cost $1.88 million, which seems to me to be at least four times what it should have cost.

        January 11, 2013
      • The cost definitely seems to be the issue…. One must wonder, though — how much do they “really” cost?!?

        WOW. 40 underpasses — great job, there.

        January 11, 2013
  10. Love this…!!..Michelle

    January 10, 2013
    • They’re so wonderful, aren’t they? I’ve been tracking them for years, was so excited when they began construction…. 🙂

      January 11, 2013
  11. The crossing of animals is quite an issue in Florida. When I was driving there I could not bear the sight of the run over turtles, raccoons, snakes, etc.. Seems to me the reptiles suffer the most, but from what you tell me the endangered panther got a good hit too. Human, all too human we are, shame on us.

    January 10, 2013
    • You’re ABSOLUTELY right. Thank you so much….

      They’ve been in discussions for years in our state, to implement them — but certain…ahem…”groups” are steadfastly against them. But with 70% of Florida Panthers killed last year alone due to vehicle collisions — and other endangered animals constantly killed on the roads — conservationists hopefully haven’t given up the battle. It breaks my heart to see any animal killed due to our monster machines, especially those that are endangered. And if we can HELP them, by ANY and ALL means… We must.

      January 11, 2013
  12. Love these. We have a few around here too, but not as pretty. They also have animal tunnels that go under the road!

    January 11, 2013
    • That’s so wonderful… YAY! 🙂 Anything and everything to help the critters reach their food and water supplies, that we’ve cut off from them…

      We need them here, in our state. BADLY. They’ve been in discussions for years in our state, to implement them — but certain…ahem…”groups” are steadfastly against them. But with 70% of Florida Panthers killed last year alone due to vehicle collisions — and other endangered animals constantly killed on the roads — conservationists hopefully haven’t given up the battle.

      January 11, 2013
  13. Sorry, you mentioned the tunnels!

    January 11, 2013
  14. marialla #

    SLOWLY, SLOWLY MANKIND FINDS A WAY TO ACCOMMODATE HIS VARIOUS CO-LIVERS ON THIS EARTH OF OURS. HURRAH FOR US!

    January 16, 2013
    • So very well put…. And you’re absolutely right, HOORAY for us!!!

      🙂 XO!

      January 17, 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: