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Avc: Animal Vehicle Collisions and the Need for Wildlife Bridges

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Statistics show that wildlife bridges are benefiting both humans and animals saving thousands in repair costs.

Deer Crossing

Deer Crossing

Top Ten States

Top Ten States

Wildlife is paying a Price for Human Expansion

Over one million Animal-Vehicle Collisions (AVC) annually, costing thousands of dollars in vehicle repairs alone. And it does also claim loss of life to the animals and drivers. Statistics show that these collisions can be controlled with the building of wildlife bridges. These can include overpasses and underpasses and can reduce up to 95% in animal road kills. The public is becoming aware of the value of these wildlife bridges. Collisions are costly, with the average cost of hitting a deer by a vehicle is $3000. Hit a moose, and it could triple. Every state is now investigating the merits of safe wildlife crossings.

It is estimated by the Federal Highway Association of AVC collisions to be over three million annually.

Different size animals require different passes; smaller animals need smaller ones, while larger passes may need to be camouflaged to entice them.

And exactly what is a wildlife bridge? It's a structure that allows animals to cross human-made barriers safely. The animals cross to find food, shelter, avoid predators, and to breed. These bridges are a win, win fact. Many of the animals are endangered, such as the Florida panther. In fact, only 30-50 of the Florida panthers are left in the wild after being in Florida for thousands of years.

There are now 24 wildlife crossings and 12 bridge crossings on I-75, Alligator Alley.

In the set of Utah, the largest wildlife bridge built-in 2018 over six lanes of I-80. This area has the nickname of "slaughter Row." This landbridge is the second in the state, the first was built in the 1970s in the southern part of Utah. In Utah alone, 30,000 wildlife-vehicle collisions are recorded annually.

Florida I-75, Alligator Alley

Florida I-75, Alligator Alley

Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge San Antonio, Texas

Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge San Antonio, Texas

Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge

It is the largest land bridge in the U.S., spanning 189 feet long and 150 feet wide. It opened December 11, 2020, rising over the Wurzbuch Parkway, and is for use by animals and people.

Banff Natl Park, Canada

Banff Natl Park, Canada

Banff Land Bridge

Banff Land Bridge

Banff National Park, Canada

Established in 1855, Banff is the oldest National Park, and the wildlife land bridge has 38 underpasses and six overpasses where bears, elk, deer find safety in crossing structures in search of food, mates, and shelter.

Wildlife Bridges

Wildlife Bridges

Protecting Our Wildlife

Many different wildlife bridges are protecting our animals and ourselves. There are crab bridges, turtle terminals, and others for smaller animals

Crab Bridges, Australia

Crab Bridges, Australia

Turtle Tunnel, Japan

Turtle Tunnel, Japan

California Set to Build Largest Wildlife Landbridge

Over ten lanes of heavy traffic, the State of California is finalizing plans to build the largest wildlife bridge over the U.S. 101 Highway. It will be 200 feet and be located 35 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

The benefits are immense for humans and wildlife, and fortunately, the public is finally aware of the benefits of avoiding wildlife-vehicle collisions and protecting our animals. It's like the Bering Strait Landbridge all over again when the crossing was made years ago. But because of human obstacles we now have to assist wildlife crossing that we interrupted their normal routes of migration with both sides winning.

It's hard to figure out what took us long to rectify our mistakes but the future holds promise.

AVC Collision Stats

AVC Collision Stats

Deer Collision

Deer Collision

Tips To Avoid Hitting Deer

It is suggested to try and avoid the hours dusk to dawn, slow down, deer are feeding watering at this time. Always scan the roads, use your bright or high beams, and slow down. Where you see one deer, there's probably another behind him.

Awake, Aware, and Sober.

Comments

fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on December 16, 2020:

emge, thank you for your visit. I understand that there are some Under bridges for elephants, who really need this protection. Again, thank you for your comment.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on December 16, 2020:

This is a good suggestion. Not in India where elephants roam.

fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on December 16, 2020:

Absolutely agree and thanks for your visit. Glad you liked the article.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 15, 2020:

I've seen some wildlife bridges and think they are an excellent idea. Thank you for publicizing them, Fran. They are very important constructions.

Rosina S Khan on December 15, 2020:

Beautiful article emphasizing the need for wildlife bridges for all kinds of animals. It's good the US authorities have started taking action. Animals definitely also have their rights, and we should do everything in our capacity to preserve them. Thanks for sharing a wonderful article, Fran.

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