Road Ecology and Wildlife Crossings

This is the third and final post in a series looking at wildlife movement, corridors and roads. Read the first post, Ecology Lesson: Population Movements, which was followed by Corridor Ecology and Planning.

Roads

Roads crisscross the entire country covering much of the land. Highways take us through states or across the whole country, streets cover cities and dirt roads link rural areas to cities. They traverse over rivers, lakes, mountains, valleys, deserts and forests. Some highways are many lanes wide and some bridges are modern engineering marvels. They bring us commercial goods, foods and fuel across great distances. There are over 4 million miles of roads in the United States alone.

Road Ecology

Road ecology is a field that addresses the relationship between roads, wildlife and the environment. The topic has received a lot of attention over the past 30 years with a lot of focus on roads and wildlife….

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Corridor Ecology and Planning

This is the second post in a series looking at wildlife movement, corridors and roads. The full series: Ecology Lesson: Population Movements,  Corridor Ecology and Planning and Road Ecology and Wildlife Crossings.

Wildlife needs to move for many reasons which were discussed in Ecology Lesson: Population Movements. There are many barriers in the urban landscape that prevent or make movement difficult for wildlife. Among the many barriers are roads including small streets to major highways, development such as shopping centers or subdivisions, railroad lines, powerline corridors, canals, dams and non wildlife-friendly landscapes such as agriculture, golf courses or cemeteries.

Fragmentation

“Habitat fragmentation is a dynamic process that has three main components: an overall loss of habitat in the landscape, reduction in the size of remaining blocks, and increased isolation by new forms of land use.” – Linkages…

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ARC Wildlife Crossing Finalists

The ARC International Wildlife Crossing Infrastructure Design Competition, which was mentioned on this blog back in February here, has finally posted the submissions of the five finalists. The winner won’t be announced until the end of January at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, but the designs can be viewed on the website now. The five finalists include Balmori Associates from New York, The Olin Studio from Philadelphia, Janet Rosenberg & Associates from Toronto, Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates with HNTB Engineering from New York and Zwarts & Jantsma Architects from Amsterdam.

Be sure to visit the ARC page with PDF’s of all of the entries, it is certainly worth taking a look at, there are some interesting ideas.

Hypar-Nature (PDF) is the entry by Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates

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North American Wildlife Crossing Structure Design Competition

This is a very exciting upcoming competition addressing the issue of wildlife crossings. (See the right hand column on this blog for many links on the issue.) The competition website by the ARC states the following about the competition.

ARC will engage the best and most innovative international, interdisciplinary design teams—comprised of landscape architects, architects, engineers, ecologists, and other experts—to create the next generation of wildlife crossing structures for North America’s roadways. This competition seeks specifically from its entries, innovation in feasible, buildable context-sensitive and compelling design solutions for safe, efficient, cost-effective, and ecologically responsive wildlife crossings. In doing so, it hopes to raise international awareness of a need to better reconcile the construction and maintenance of road networks with wildlife movement.

There are a number of successful wildlife crossings in North America, some large, some small, some over and some under. The Banff wildlife crossings have been one…

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