Creatures large and small use this wildlife bridge to cross a busy highway

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/12/09/creatures-large-and-small-use-this-wildlife-bridge-to-cross-a-busy-highway.html

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Nawww!

But would I be right in thinking that deer continue to ignore the bridge, and just prance into traffic at random locations as usual?

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This video, from three years ago, goes into considerably more detail on how wildlife bridges work in Banff National Park. Fencing is used to funnel wildlife onto the bridge.

about 3:13

“A few species, like deer, elk and moose immediately started using them, followed by more skeptical species, like wolves and grizzlies. Within a few decades, even the most reluctant species, like lynx had adapted to using the crossings.”

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What a waste of tax-payers money! They should at least put up a tollbooth. I’m sure they could get a few bucks that way.

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Awww they even gave kitty a scratching post

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Are the rocks there to make it more appealing to animals or to stop motor vehicles?

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If we can’t have flying cars, we at least need lots more of these, everywhere. I currently have deer impact damage I haven’t reported because the previous deer impact damage I did claim was so recent I’m afraid my premium will go up.

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I find myself wondering whether smaller or prey critters get mugged crossing the bridge, or whether there’s a sense of it being a “neutral zone” for predation. I would think that a predator making a kill on the bridge would be at risk for an immediate challenge for the dinner, in a space where getting away from a fight would be harder. I did see one predator carrying dinner, but was that unusual?

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yeah - I also wondered if this would become a natural place for predator to visit, and whether the wildlife would steer clear. I guess not, seeing as the wildlife orgs don’t mention it as a problem.

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love these. want more of these. but you think they would get more traffic from the local animals if they weren’t all rock and hardscape… some bushes or grass would be more attractive, i think.

Martinig, A.R., Riaz, M. & St. Clair, C.C. Temporal clustering of prey in wildlife passages provides no evidence of a prey-trap. Sci Rep 10, 11489 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-67340-8

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-67340-8

Wildlife passages are structures built across roads to facilitate wildlife movement and prevent wildlife
collisions with vehicles. The efficacy of these structures could be reduced if they funnel prey into confined spaces at predictable locations that are exploited by predators. We tested the so-called prey- trap hypothesis using remote cameras in 17 wildlife passages in Quebec, Canada from 2012 to 2015 by measuring the temporal occurrence of nine small and medium-sized mammal taxa (< 30 kg) that we classified as predators and prey. We predicted that the occurrence of a prey-trap would be evidenced by greater frequencies and shorter latencies of sequences in which predators followed prey, relative to prey–prey sequences. Our results did not support the prey-trap hypothesis; observed prey–predator sequences showed no difference or were less frequent than expected, even when prey were unusually abundant or rare or at sites with higher proportions of predators. Prey–predator latencies were also 1.7 times longer than prey–prey sequences. These results reveal temporal clustering of prey that may dilute predation risk inside wildlife passages. We encourage continued use of wildlife passages as mitigation tools.

open access, too

It’s just one paper, but wikipedia implies that it doesn’t go against the grain. That’s good, because it implies that a more enlightened society won’t have to rip up quite so many roads.

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Boy. Talk about a bridge too fur…

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I drove down through Pennsylvania in October, that section between Scranton and Harrisburg. Never have I seen so many deer strikes on one stretch of highway. We counted 13, and that was just what we could see and what was on the southbound side. Nothing freaks me out more on long highway drives than the idea of a large animal collision. I wish there were more of these wildlife pedestrian bridges.

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Switzerland has a few of these crossing high-speed rail lines as well. Definitely a good idea, and nice to see something to make up for the artificial barriers we’ve draped over the land.

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Plenty of moose but I suspect some species of squirrel don’t really need them.

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Germany and other european countries had that for decades. We also have tunnels under roads for migrating toads, hedgehogs and other small animals.

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Thanks

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Won’t someone please think about the motorists?

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I thought this too as some animals do look uncomfortable coming out into the open, but I think maybe the humans are trying to make it low-maintenance.