A Black Bear underpass near our home in Florida Animal Bridge on the Flathead Reservation in Montana
Picture credit: Florida DOT Picture credit: Djembayz
To some people, they are a supreme waste of money, to animals, they are their only hope in a daily battle with vehicles to get across dangerous roadways.
When humans, cars and concrete came into their worlds, animals had no clue of the dangers that came with them, so sadly, they have been killed by the thousands all over the country, indeed, the world.
Now new safety precautions are available to stop the collisions between wildlife and cars speeding down our highways, they are called conservation corridors and here in Florida, they might just be the difference between extinction and survival for our beloved Florida Panther.
Over the past decade entirely too many Panthers have been killed by the cars invading their ever-shrinking world.
With houses, condos, shopping centers and the like crowding them into smaller and smaller habitats, is it any wonder that they are trying to move away?
Not to mention that their gene pool is becoming severely limited due to the lack of available mates.
These conservation corridors will enable not only the Panthers, but bears and many other types of wildlife to safely get over, under or around the traffic that can and does end their lives everyday.
The many protective wildlife passageways, also known as corridors or culverts, have been in place across America and the world, since the mid 1900’s and have proven to be quite successful.
Not only do wildlife crossings save animals lives, they also prevent and avoid serious crashes which take many human lives as well.
Why then, when so much good comes out of these wildlife crossings elsewhere, is there any opposition against them here?
You guessed it, it is all about the money.
Some with the authority and the connections to put the brakes on them, claim that spending so much to build them, is an outrageous expense, when times are so tough for everybody.
But since so often, cars are involved as well, how much is a human life worth?
I dare not ask these people about the worth of an animal’s life, because I already know the answer.
It seems like we always have endless sums of money for funding endless conflicts worldwide, or helping to either put in place, or overthrow various governments in countries where we will be well rewarded in one way or another.
Animals cannot vote or write checks to fund political campaigns, they are simply on this earth for us to admire, take delight in and protect when necessary.
Everyday, animals must make choices and cross busy roads to get to their food, sometimes it is the last one that they will ever make.
At some point in each of our lives, we all must make choices and these decisions will remain in our hearts long after the actions have been taken.
You can make a difference in their lives, be concerned, get involved, but most of all, care!
Will you deliberately go out of your way to do something to make an animal’s life safer or better today?
Here are a few facts to feed your brain:
A quite comprehensive PDF report on the subject: Existing Structures for Terrestrial Wildlife
The generic definition at Wiki: Wildlife crossing
My late wife was a naturalist. She worked for an agency in California whose mission was to conserve wildlife corridors in the Los Angeles region. She loved her work.
How kind of you to share these beautiful thoughts.
Wish I could have met her~
I think that those that argue that wildlife corridors cost too much money aren’t considering the cost of not building the corridors. Accidents cost money, and hitting larger animals can also cause much pain for humans, medical care, auto work which is expensive, higher auto insurance rates….then there’s the emergency personnel who respond to auto accidents, road clean-up crews that clean up bodies, transfer of injured live animals to the nearest zoo or wild animal vet, and so on. Why pay all that money to destroy life? I think the money spent on corridors is more profitable in the long run, and definitely more life sustaining. We have taken over most wild spaces, the land our houses and roads sit on is their land too! Animals need a way to cross to find food in every diminishing small tracts of land, and I dare say, these crossings are safer for pedestrians to use too, another added benefit for humans. More greenspace over and around roads keep temperatures cooler, help sink auto pollution, and provides more area for people to take walks, picnics, and connect with nature.
Yes to all!!!
Thank you for your intuitive response to this.
You really get it~
I have an almost irrational hatred of cars. I hate the smell of the fumes they emit, I hate that I have to dodge them when I cross the road and remain on hypervigilance mode when my kids are walking near cars and I hate the sounds they make, especially the souped up ones. I especially hate how they have changed our communities for the worse. People used to walk a lot more and to speak to each other in the process. And as you say here, they also kill our wildlife.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful comments.
It is so encouraging to know that we feel the same way.
THANKS for these links…. Our state is continually talking about the “waste” of these critical structures, yet we have the largest loss of wildlife. It’s shocking. Especially considering how much of this life only lives *here.* And is already endangered.