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Animal crossings: The ecoducts that help wildlife navigate the roads around the world | Wildlife

Animal crossings: The ecoducts that help wildlife navigate the roads around the world | Wildlife

A Florida panther uses a wildlife crossing on Alligator Alley, Florida

FFrom a small railway bridge in the UK for dormice to bears, elk and deer benefitting from a whole slew Crossings of new animalsWildlife bridges are gaining popularity in Colorado. As the human footprint on the planet expands, more roads and railways provide wildlife access to fragmented areas.

We reported in January on Sweden’s plans to build a series renoducts that will allow reindeer to travel along the country’s main roads. Since then, the Swedish Transport Administration has completed an ecoduct in SkneThe third county is in southern Sweden. In 2022, work will begin on the largest wildlife bridge worldwide. It will connect isolated mountain lion populations north and south of Los Angeles, which are rapidly becoming dangerously inbred. Joe Biden has allocated $350m (260m), of his $1.2tn infrastructure package to wildlife bridges. This will help lessen the threat to wildlife. Multibillions of dollars annuallyCollisions cost.

Ten years ago, wildlife crossings were still experimental. We didn’t know if they would work. Now, they have shown significant reductions in collisions. Rob Ament, a Montana State University road ecology expert, said that in some cases there were 85% to 99 percent reductions. They can be designed for many species. Even in the plains, we were able to cross the moose in North Dakota.

There are wildlife bridges on every continent. elephant underpass nearMount Kenya; The Netherlands has an ecoduct network that may help the countrys wolf pack’s first in over 140 years to gain foothold in the densely populated country. Java’s endangered lorises are being helped by suspended water pipes. A bison bridge could also be used to help them cross the Mississippi.

Here are five projects that help animals get on their feet around the globe:

Alligator Alley, Florida

The road that runs between Naples and Fort Lauderdale is 129km (80 miles) long. It crosses the Everglades, a vast wetland home to thousands of alligators and deer, and it also includes the endangered Florida panther. It was once notorious for collisions between wildlife and high-speed vehicles. However, the road was made to be a four-lane motorway with crossings and upgraded to a four lane. Wildlife can now navigate the road thanks to dozens of underpasses. A camera trapping exerciseThere are many wildlife crossings that panthers, black bears and other wildlife use. The hope is growing that the state’s wildlife bridge network could be extended north in order to connect potential habitats for Florida panthers. Alligator Alley needs fencing. It is a 10ft high chain link fence with three-stranded barbed wire at the top. Brent Setchell, a Florida Department of Transportation design engineer, said that this is to keep wildlife off the roadway and at the crossing. He monitors road collisions with bears and panthers to identify potential crossing points. Amazingly, we started monitoring the crossings only four or five year ago. We discovered a lot of wildlife.

A Florida panther uses a wildlife crossing on Alligator Alley, Florida
Florida panther crosses Alligator Alley, a notoriously dangerous area for wildlife.Photo: Florida Department of Transportation

The tunnel of love on Australia’s Great Alpine Road

The Great Alpine Road, which runs through south-east Australia’s Victorian Alps, poses a threat to a population of critically endangered mountain pygmy possums. Despite the fact that there are only 150 of these marsupials on Mount Little Higginbotham’s hills, genetic testing revealed that there were genetic differences between the sub-groups. These groups are also at risk from fire, disappearing food resources, and invasive species. Conservationists built a tunnel of love to connect the isolated groups in order to increase mixing and improve their chances of survival. The tunnel was built over the past two summers. 30 Possums have been identifiedThe tunnel of love is often used by the spring hibernation waking up. The tunnel is nearly 15 metres long and the marsupials can cross it in 15 seconds, sometimes too fast to be captured by remote sensing cameras.

A pygmy possum is inspected at North Head Sanctuary in Manly, Sydney.
North Head Sanctuary, Manly, Sydney inspects a pygmy posesum. The tunnel of love, which runs through the Victorian Alps, has helped identify 30 marsupials over the past two summers. Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Indias tiger corridor

India’s first dedicated wildlife overpasses were a hard-fought victory by environmental campaigners. The court ordered the nine crossings in Pench tiger reserves as a mitigation measure to the country’s longest road (4,112 km National Highway 44), which runs through the middle. Even though collisions with big cats still occur along the multi-lane motorway network, environmentalists believe the underpasses have highlighted India’s need for more wildlife crossings. A 2019 camera trapping exerciseAt least 18 species used the crossings, including tigers and wild dogs, sloth Bears, civets or leopards. According to our calculations, 55,000km of roads traverse India’s forests, protected areas, and many of them through wildlife corridors. Milind Paraiwakam, a Road Ecologist at Wildlife Conservation Trust Mumbai, said that this number is approximately 55,000km. The Hindu. More infrastructure projects now offer wildlife passes, including the 1,380km Delhi–Mumbai expressway, which is currently being constructed. includes Indias first animal bridges.

Underpass section on National Highway 44
Campaigners fought for several underpasses under India’s multi-lane National Highway 44. They have been used by tigers, wild dogs and sloth bears as well as civets, leopards, and civets.Photograph by Wildlife Institute of Inda

Bhutans elephant crossing

Nearly 700 Asian elephantsThe Bhutanese forest is located at the eastern edge the Himalayas. The tiny Buddhist country, sandwiched between China & India, is well-known for its stunning landscapes and environmental leadership. It is also one of the few countries that has a low carbon footprint. The first elephant underpasses in Bhutan were built on the 183km east to west motorway to allow endangered animals to move through the landscape. Monitoring was done from 2015 to 2017. 70 groups of elephants were foundwere found close to the passes, with three-quarters passing through these structures.

Wildlife underpass for elephants on the NH2 road, Bhutan
A series of underpasses allows endangered Asian elephants to cross the east-west motorway in Bhutan.Photograph by Norris Dodd/Asian Development Bank

Costa Rica has sloth bridges

Wildlife passes may not be bridges or underpasses. Costa Rica uses canopy bridges to help sloths, monkeys, or other wildlife cross roads. This is to avoid collisions, dog attacks, or electrocutions on power lines. The Sloth Conservation Foundation installed the rope bridges (about $200 (150) in areas where rainforest has been disturbed by human development on the country’s Caribbean Coast. For slow-moving creatures, crossing roads can be deadlyThe canopy bridges AlsoHelp combat inbreeding. People look at them and think they are so inept to survive. They cross roads and try to move about. Rebecca Cliffe, head the Sloth Conservation Foundation, says they look awkward and useless. Bloomberg earlier this yea. They can survive if they are placed in a well-connected rainforest.

Sloth bridge in Costa Rica
A sloth avoids traffic in Costa Rica by using a special rope-bridge.Photo by Sloth Conservation Foundation

Follow biodiversity reporters for more information and age of extinction coverage Phoebe WestonAnd Patrick GreenfieldFollow Twitter for the latest news and features

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