Wildlife crossings stop roadkill. Why aren't there more? (Vox)
Updated: Mar 30, 2021
Roadkill harms animals, endangers drivers, and costs billions of dollars every year. In Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, wildlife scientist Tony Clevenger and other researchers have proven that constructing overpasses and underpasses for animals decreases roadkill and improves ecological connectivity. Many animals, including deer, elk, grizzlies, moose, lynx, cougars and others, have been recorded using the structures.
Although animal crossing structures have been fairly common in Europe for a few decades, there are relatively few in North America. In The United States, the crossing structures that have been built, in places like Washington State and Wyoming, were partly inspired by the research Clevenger conducted in Banff. To create even more of them, Clevenger worked with a team of experts, including ecologist Nina-Marie Lister, to organize a design competition.
The competition, named ARC solutions, was held in order to generate more cost-effective crossing designs that are also sustainable and environmentally friendly. The competition generated many new models for animal crossings and Clevenger and Lister hope that highway planners will adjust their approach to structure design based on them.