There has to be a chicken crossing the road joke somewhere in here, but I’m not finding it. Nevertheless, here’s several minutes of wildlife having a much easier journey through Utah because of a brand new wildlife crossing.
According to National Geographic, one stretch of Utah highway saw “98 deer, three moose, two elk, multiple raccoons, and a cougar … a total of 106 animals” killed by cars in a two year period. Further, there are 21 threatened and endangered species in the U.S. whose continued existence is threatened specifically by cars including “Key deer in Florida, bighorn sheep in California, and red-bellied turtles in Alabama.” Wildlife crashes kill people, too, of course. “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,” says Rob Ament, the road ecology program manager at the Western Transportation Institute (WTI) at Montana State University.
So here’s an elegant solution that also provides a fun opportunity for science and entertainment with cameras set up. “You can get reductions of 85 to 95 percent with crossings and fencing that guide animals under or over highways,” Ament says. While we’re making our wish lists for Biden administration infrastructure projects, here’s a good one.