For humans, road systems are essential, taking us everywhere we need to go.
But for the critters we share the Earth with, they can be disruptive and dangerous. That’s why conservationists around the world have come up with Wildlife Bridges.
In the U.S.A. alone, it’s estimated vehicle-animal collisions cost $8 billion a year. These passages allow animals to travel safely over and under busy roadways. The bridges are covered in native vegetation to maintain the animals’ habitats.
Animal bridges originated in 1950s France, and are popular all over Europe. The Netherlands has 66 of them, including the world’s longest wildlife overpass. The Natuurbrug Zanderij Crailoo is a half-mile long, crossing a variety of landscapes.
In the past 30 years, the idea has spread to other parts of the world like North America. Banff National Park in Alberta hosts a whole network of animal underpasses and bridges.
The park’s 44 wildlife crossings help more than 150,000 critters find their way. The bridges come in all shapes and sizes, just like the species they protect.
A scalable overpass in Australia helps 50 million red crabs continue their migration. And in Washington, a special rope bridge guides squirrels above busy streets.
These initiatives not only help save animals around the world from becoming roadkill, they also prevent traffic jams.Sources