How Wildlife Crossings Can Help Reduce Animal Accidents

Meghna Tongiya Mar 17, 2019
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Underpasses, overpasses, viaducts, and all the other barriers that are designed for the safety of animals are broadly called wildlife crossings. These have been successfully implemented in various countries around the world, and have proven to be of great help in reducing animal-human collisions.
In a report by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to Congress, each year, drivers in the U.S. spend approximately $8.38 billion on wildlife-related collision damages to vehicles.

Effectiveness of Wildlife Crossings

Wildlife overpasses and underpasses help in diverting animals from the path humans take, to their habitat. These crossings serve as a connectivity for the animals to their natural habitat, thus preventing any animal-vehicle collisions.
Once an animal cannot find a way through the road it gets accustomed to the crossings constructed for it. It travels back and forth the same route. As such, casualties on the road are prevented.
Wildlife crossing structures are designed according to the habitat of the animals who are using it. The surroundings play an important role in deciding the animals' path, and so they are prevented from choosing the road for commuting.
There is a light generated on the fences of the crossings every time an animal is around. This alerts drivers to reduce their speed, and a collision is avoided.
In many animal crossings, a bait is put for the animals, wherein salt licks or silhouettes of the animals are placed, which make the animals think that some other animals has already used the crossings and it is safe. This method prevents them from coming onto the highway, thereby reducing accidents.
There are certain wildlife crossing signs put as a reminder for the drivers to slow down their vehicles while passing through an animal inhabited area. This helps a great deal in avoiding mishaps.