Thursday, August 8, 2019

Tunnels for Turtles

We all know numerous accidents are caused every year by people both hitting animals crossing roads, and by people swerving to avoid animals.  However, change is in the air. Wildlife undercrossings, or tunnels, are becoming more common worldwide. In 2016, the Wisconsin Departments of Transportation and Natural Resources partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point to construct a tunnel to cut down on high turtle mortality rates.  The tunnel included aluminum flashing outside of each opening to let turtles know the tunnel passes all the way through, and grates to make it less shadowy.  While turtle deaths dropped, the turtles were not the only ones to benefit from the tunnel: rodents, mink, skunks, raccoons, and house cats have also been observed using the tunnels.  Meanwhile, in Brazil, gold monkeys and pumas benefit from undercrossings, while water voles get the same help in London.