Wildlife and Roads: What Should I Know

Help me understand wildlife crossings & this website

What are the wildlife issues I need to consider in a road project?

Roads and transportation corridors pose significant threats to wildlife. In addition to direct mortality, roads, rail ways, with their associated traffic volumes and speeds, impact the ability of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife to move to carry on their life functions. Incorporation of wildlife and ecosystem mitigation needs into long range transportation plans, projects, and maintenance efforts is necessary to minimize effects. Mitigation may include the use of crossing structures (e.g., bridges, culverts) to allow wildlife passage underneath or over roads and rail ways. This decision guide provides information on wildlife crossings and on other types of mitigation.

The ultimate goal of mitigation is to prevent wildlife-vehicle collisions and restore landscape permeability. When a landscape is 'permeable', it allows the complement of species in an area easy daily and seasonal movement across the landscape. Mitigation that addresses permeability may include the installation of wildlife passages to allow safe passage for animals as large and wide-ranging as grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) that move over hundreds of kilometers, to smaller local species such as frogs and turtles that move as little as several meters to the nearest pond or upland to lay eggs.

The Decision Guide Objectives

This Decision Guide has two clear objectives: to assist users in restoring permeability of the roaded landscape for multiple species of wildlife and to improve safety for the traveling public by reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions. The decision guide provides assistance concerning available important information, where it may be accessed, important contacts for input in the process, and suggestions for how this information can be assembled as part of the full process of transportation planning, design, construction, and maintenance.

How to Use This Website

This website has several functions for users interested in minimizing the effects of roads and railways on wildlife.

NCHRP 25-27 Mission explains the research project that created this site and the contributing scientists and engineers.

The Decision Guide is a tool to help guide the user in the selection, design, and implementation of wildlife mitigation measures.

Search Engine is a search of this site's databases that include a bibliography of over 300 citations related to roads and wildlife, links to related websites, a database of all known terrestrial and aquatic wildlife crossings in North America, selected pdf files of literature, pictures, and diagrams related to wildlife and transportation corridors (roads and railways), and other resources.

Picture Gallery is a page full of pictures of wildlife passages in North America and wildlife using them.

Contact Us is a link to submitting comments to us concerning the webpage or other related information.

Press is the media page for journalists and others interested in a project update and past media coverage.

Home presents the overall objective of this website.


Shopping Cart IconThis My Saved Files icon is for users to store pertinent information from this site and download to their personal computers after they have left the site.

How to use the My Saved Files:

  1. Go to the WCP search engine and perform your desired search.
  2. Click the Add to My Saved Files icon Add to Cart icon next to any item to add it to your Saved Files.
  3. Click the My Saved Files icon in the sidebar at any time to see its contents.

Keep in mind that items added to your Saved Files are saved only for your current browsing session. Once you leave the site or close your browser, the Saved Files will be deleted.