Wildlife Overpasses Around The World: Working With Nature, Not Against

a50-netherlands-animal-bridge-wildlife-crossing-overpassAnimals 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. [Source]

Wildlife crossings are a practice in habitat conservation, allowing connections or reconnections between habitats and combating habitat fragmentation. They also assist in avoiding collisions between vehicles and animals, which in addition to killing or injuring wildlife may cause injury to humans and property damage. It has been reported that vehicle-animals collisions costs the United States a staggering $8 Billion a year.

The first wildlife crossings were constructed in France during the 1950s. European countries including the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, and France have been using various crossing structures to reduce the conflict between wildlife and roads for several decades and use a variety of overpasses and underpasses to protect and reestablish wildlife such as: amphibians, badgers, ungulates, invertebrates, and other small mammals. [Source: Wikipedia]

The Humane Society of the United States reports that the more than 600 tunnels installed under major and minor roads in the Netherlands have helped to substantially increase population levels of the endangered European Badger. The longest “ecoduct” viaduct, near Crailo in the Netherlands, runs 800 meters and spans a highway, railway and golf course. [Source: Wikipedia]

Wildlife crossings are becoming increasingly common in Canada and the United States. Recognizable wildlife crossings are found in Banff National Park in Alberta, where vegetated overpasses provide safe passage over the Trans-Canada Highway for bears, moose, deer, wolves, elk, and many other species. The 24 wildlife crossings in Banff were constructed as part of a road improvement project in 1978. In the United States, thousands of wildlife crossings have been built in the past 30 years, including culverts, bridges, and overpasses. These have been used to protect Mountain Goats in Montana, Spotted Salamanders in Massachusetts, Bighorn Sheep in Colorado, Desert Tortoises in California, and endangered Florida Panthers in Florida. [Source: Wikipedia]

Below you will find a small gallery of animal bridges around the world. A few remain unidentified, if you recognize the location, please let us know in the comments below!

1. Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Photograph via Izismile

2. The Netherlands

Photograph via Izismile

3. B38 – Birkenau, Germany

Photograph via h4m on Reddit

4. Scotch Plains, New Jersey, USA

Photograph via Google Maps

5. E314 in Belgium

Photograph via Jarrl on Reddit

6. Highway A50 in The Netherlands

Photograph via SenseiCAY on Reddit

7. Flathead Indian Reservation, Montana, USA

Photograph via The World Geography

8. The Borkeld, The Netherlands

Photograph via The World Geography

9. Interstate 78, Wachtung Reservation, New Jersey, USA

Photograph by Doug Kerr

10. Near Keechelus Lake, Washington, USA (rendering, target 2014)

Photograph via The World Geography

11. Unknown

Photograph via The World Geography

12. Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Photograph by Qyd
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50 Responses to "Wildlife Overpasses Around The World: Working With Nature, Not Against"

  1. Bartłomiej  January 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Animal bridges are now restricted in Europe by european union law. Each one new highway is designed to be safe for animal, even this small like frogs. In years 2010-2013 Poland has build ~30 animal bridges by this law, also other members of EU have to build this construction by the way building new highways and railways.

    • Dodgern  June 1, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      Love it!!!!

    • Karol  September 9, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      but as far as i know, even one animal don’t use this bridge (in poland of course) and we need to spend milion of euro to build this… don’t get me wrong helping animals is a good thing but we need to realise that some laws are just for money

  2. Justme  January 26, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    6 is the same as 2… :/

  3. Ruddi Oliver Bodholdt Dal  January 26, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Some of the Animal bridges we have in Denmark.

    Google maps

    +57° 13′ 46.19″, +10° 13′ 34.69″
    +56° 8′ 39.35″, +9° 25′ 24.91″
    +55° 6′ 0.28″, +10° 34′ 4.76″

    • nielsen  July 14, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      fedt så slap jeg for det :P

    • klaus holmbjergklaus  September 17, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      God humor i 2…jeg ville også ha skrevet, men bedre ka det ikke gøre.

  4. Johnny Carson  February 8, 2013 at 3:07 am

    Save the critters they make it a better world for us and feed our soul.

  5. Jeremy  April 14, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Umm… do the animals actually use these things? Forgive my lack of confidence in the intellectual capacity of wildlife to actually use the bridges that people make for them.

    • Marie Soleil  June 1, 2013 at 10:09 pm

      I was wondering the same thing. Is there cientific studies with real statistics to prove it?

  6. Laurie.  June 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    The overhead rope bridges for possums in Wet Tropics World Heritage Palmerston national park in Australia, have been monitored with infrared cameras, and have shown over time to be effective.

  7. Olga  July 1, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    This is amazing.
    I will send this link to WIRES in Sydney and see if we can get something like this started in Australia. I can’t believe we are so far behind the rest of the world. It is disgraceful to say the least…

  8. gilserique  July 14, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Meanwhile in my hometown area in the Amazonwe are doing soya beans corridors.

  9. carol  July 16, 2013 at 7:25 am



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