Wildlife Bridges Over Busy Roads Are Saving Animal Lives Across The World
If anyone’s feeling a bit down on this dreary Saturday, don’t worry because I’ve got your back.
Wildlife bridges are a thing and they’re saving all kinds of animals from meeting an untimely end in road collisions every day.
Rather than risk their lives by crossing busy roads and inevitably getting hit by vehicles, animals such as deer can now cross safely by walking along bridges made specifically for them.
As per the National Geographic, a total of 106 animals were killed in car collisions along one stretch of highway in Utah over a period of two years – including 98 deer, three moose, and two elk.
In fact, there are 21 threatened and endangered species in the US whose survival is threatened by road mortalities every day, with Key deer in Florida and bighorn sheep in California among those.
It isn’t just animals who are hurt in these collisions either; according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 200 people die every year in more than one million animal-car collisions in America.
The problem only seems to be getting worse, with Rob Ament, the road ecology programme manager at the Western Transportation Institute (WTI), confirming the number of these fatal crashes is growing.
Ament said, as per the National Geographic:
Over the most recently reported 15-year period, wildlife-vehicle collisions have increased by 50 percent, with an estimated one to two million large animals killed by motorists every year.
Don’t fret though, because wildlife bridges are saving lives all over the place by decreasing collisions between cars and animals crossing the road – and they’re here to stay.
Such crossings have been popular in Europe since the 1950s, when the first one was built in France, but are now popping up worldwide. And I’m all here for it.
You can get reductions [of animal road collisions] of 85 to 95 per cent with crossings and fencing that guide animals under or over highways.
Usually, the bridges look like normal ones which cars would be able to use. That is, until you get closer and notice the shrubs and greenery.
Undercrossings also exist, which pass underneath highways to help smaller animals that might be invisible to drivers – for example, gold monkeys and pumas are making use of them in Brazil and water voles are using those in London.
See, I told you I’d brighten your day. We must protect them at all costs.
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