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Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

"Critter Barrier" Protects Prairie Reptiles, Amphibians, and Small Mammals

Screen doors keep mosquitoes out, screen fences keep turtles in. For $3.64/linear foot, Iowa Department of Transportation maintenance crews attached 1/8-inch-grid mesh or "hardware cloth" to right-of-way fencing along the new Eddyville Bypass (US 63). The 3.77-mile highway passes through a 250-acre sand prairie preserve harboring such unique animals as the eastern hognose snake and the State-listed as threatened Blanding's turtle and ornate box turtle. Since 12 inches of the wire mesh lie below ground, the animals can't burrow underneath the fence and onto the roadway. Nor can they puncture the strong mesh fabric. The turtles continue to lay their eggs on the sand prairie, as they have done for centuries, and no roadkill has been reported on the Bypass.
 
--Aug 21, 2006

Scott Marler, (515) 239-1225 or scott.marler@sor.iowa.gov

Photo of mesh fence along country roadway
Iowa DOT photo
The mesh prevents reptiles from crawling over or burrowing under the fence and on to the roadway.

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Along Roads - Iowa
Updated: 12/12/2012
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