Animal bridges or as they are often called wildlife crossings are a smart solution to save animals whose habitat is divided by traffic. While the bridge is a common term, crossings can come in many different forms like underpass tunnels, amphibian tunnels, fish ladders (or shoots), green roofs and even rope bridges. The danger to the animals is very high, also crossing animals can cause car collisions. The amount of animal collisions in forest areas is very high and actually costs a whooping sum of money.
Ecoduct in Banff National Park, Canada
Crab Bridge Crossing in Christmas Island, Australia
Animal Bridge in Alberta, Canada
The need for such crossings was discovered when after major infrastructure developments wild animals were injured or killed trying to cross. Biologists are consulted before the building starts, however, their recommendations could be ignored. In many countries where roads are located by natural reserves and wildlife parks, these solutions are required to protect animals in the area. The goal is not only to connect habitats but also create an ecosystem which is protected from human intrusion. It may seem that only big animals are easy targets, but squirrels, turtles, monkeys and even crabs all need a way to get to the other side.
Bridge for animals near Brabant province, the Netherlands
Hume Highway Rope Bridge In Victoria
The first crossings were built in France more than 50 years ago and slowly they were introduced in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany. Countries which have high eco standards are more likely to introduce such solutions as they would like to prevent damage to animals and people.
The Vancouver Land Bridge
Animal Bridge in Montana
Wildlife crossings at Canada’s Banff National Park
In some countries such as the Netherlands, wildlife crossing helped to protect endangered species. You will be surprised to find out there are crossings made for elephants (which are very defensive of their territory), bandicoots and wallabies (relatives of kangaroos) in Australia, monkeys and parrots in Brazil (tree bridges rather than road ones) and turtles in Japan.
Wildlife Crossing in New Jersey
Ecoduct in Singapore
The success of the crossing is defined by analyzing accident reports and roadside kill reports. In some cases, additional passes will be required along the way. The crossing structure not only depends on the size of the animal but also their natural habitat. The bridges are usually covered with soil and vegetation to offer continuity and encourage safe crossing.
Ecoduct B38 in Birkenau, Germany
Bridge Near Keechelus Lake, Washington
Elephant Underpass In Kenya
Tunnels or underpasses are used for smaller animals like cougars and penguins. Meadow type crossing will work well with animals which are used to similar conditions in the wild.
Bridge for monkeys over the road in Bahia, Brazil
Bee Highway in Oslo, Norway