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.
Animals in the wild need to migrate to find mates, food and other resources for their survival, and sometimes their routes take them across busy highways. This can be dangerous for both wildlife and drivers.
1. The Netherlands
The Netherlands was one of the first countries in the world to deploy a network of wildlife crossings across the landscape. More than 600 have been built in this country, including the world’s longest wildlife overpass, the Natuurbrug Zanderij Crailoo, which is 50 meters wide and over 800 meters long. It spans a business park, a river, a roadway, a railway line and a sports complex.
2. Highway A50 in The Netherlands
3. The Borkeld, The Netherlands
4. Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Wildlife crossings have also become increasingly common in Canada and the United States. The most recognizable wildlife crossings in the world are found in Banff National Park in Alberta where the national park is bisected by a large commercial road called the Trans-Canada Highway.
5. Scotch Plains, New Jersey, USA
To reduce to effect of the four lane highway, 24 vegetated overpasses and underpasses were built to ensure habitat connectivity and protect motorists. These passes are used regularly by bears, moose, deer, wolves, elk, and many other species.
6. Flathead Indian Reservation, Montana, USA
The eco-bridge is an innovative idea to help those animals cross more safely. At first glance, it looks like a typical highway overpass. However, unlike a road or pedestrian walkway, an eco-bridge is covered with tons of dirt and native vegetation to create a seamless path for animals to travel.
7. Interstate 78, Wachtung Reservation, New Jersey, USA
8. Near Keechelus Lake, Washington, USA
9. B38 – Birkenau, Germany
10. E314 in Belgium