UBC Undergraduate Research

Effectiveness of wildlife crossing structures on providing habitat connectivity for wild animals Wang, Jiling


Roads running through the middle of forests provide connectivity for humans, but are considered to be barriers to wildlife searching for food, shelter and mates. Wildlife crossing structures are now being designed and incorporated into numerous road constructions in many places in the world. However, the effectiveness of these wildlife crossing structures on providing wildlife connectivity remains uncertain. Studies from Banff National Park, Clark Fork River Valley, and Utah State clearly indicate factors affecting effectiveness of the crossing structures, which includes types of structures, dimensions, placement, noise levels, light level, vegetative cover, moisture, temperature, time, human disturbances, etc. All the factors make the evaluation of crossing structure effectiveness complex. While it is impractical to design a perfect structure that accommodate all species affected by roads, it may be possible to generate a comprehensive mitigation strategy integrating with all affecting factors and make the highways more permeable for wildlife in the future.

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