Simple wildlife crossings can save human and animal lives.

When an animal needs to cross a road, it is often forced to run a deadly gauntlet of cars, pickup trucks, and semis to get to the other side to find food, escape danger, seek potential mates, or move to new habitat. Every year, thousands of animals—and sometimes people—are killed when animals don’t make it across safely.

In order to prevent wildlife-vehicle collisions, many communities throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, are installing wildlife overpasses and underpasses. These bridges and tunnels are specially designed for animals such as deer, coyotes, mountain lions, and bears. Wildlife fences typically funnel the animals to these crossings.

Dr. Marcel Huijser, senior road ecologist at Montana State University’s Western Transportation Institute, says, “Reduction of collisions with large wild animals is best achieved by keeping wildlife off the road with wildlife fences… They allow for safe crossing opportunities and allow animals to use the areas on both sides of a road.” 

—Kristen Pope