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 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.


“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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Ecology Lesson:: Population Movements

This is the first 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.

This is also the second post in the Ecology Lesson series, the first being The Basics.

There are three categories of wildlife movement, the first being contained in a ‘home range’ or an area that is usually occupied by a population where individuals or groups travel daily or populations move as a group to another area inside their home range. Some animals have large home ranges while most have smaller ones. Wildlife that migrates has two home ranges with a migration route between them. The second category is where individuals move in or out of a home range, which is often known as dispersal. The final category is nomadism.

We’re all familiar with migration,…

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Foragings:: The latest news, resources, designs and more


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A Roof for the Birds:: Creating habitat on the Portland Mausoleum roof

This is my comprehensive project that I completed in my final year of the Landscape Architecture program at the University of Oregon. The two-term project was the culmination of my educational career and I wanted to choose something meaningful that would relate to my main interest of creating and designing urban wildlife habitat. I started to ask around and very quickly a project fell into my hands from Mike Houck, the Executive Director of the Urban Greenspace Institute in Portland. He has been responsible for creating Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge as well as a giant mural on the side of the Portland Mausoleum that overlooks Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, and had been interested for some time in creating a green roof for the building. I was lucky enough to also consult with Bob Sallinger, Conservation Director for Portland Audubon as well as Tom Liptan from the Bureau of Environmental Services,…

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City Lights and Urban Wildlife

Artificial lighting affects not only our ability to see the stars, but it affects a great many aspects of the ecology of wildlife. Light can impact wildlife directly by streetlights or lit buildings, or more indirectly with sky glow, the light from combined city lights. It can affect many difference facets in the lives of wildlife including feeding, migrating, mating and even sleeping and in the worst instances it results in death.

One of the more well known and better documented examples is the impact of lights along beaches on newly hatched turtles. Once hatched from their eggs the young turtles naturally move towards the brightest lights which on a natural beach would be the stars and in the direction of the ocean. Instead, many turtles move inland because of bright lights, which subjects them to predators, cars, dehydration and ultimately death. Beaches with too much light can even prevent…

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