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Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Featured Project

Longer bridge spans, more space for wildlife passage

Bridge on pilings extended over floodplain to allow wildlife passage under highway

Since many animals use floodplains and water bodies to move from one wildlife corridor to the next, it's logical - and easy - to design bridge ends to extend farther beyond the floodplain or water body than is required. Longer bridge spans also cost far less than a separate wildlife crossing under an existing roadway. Over the last few decades the Florida Department of Transportation has designed and built extended bridges on I-75 (Alligator Alley) in Collier County and in other locations throughout the state. The efforts are paying off. Florida panthers and other wildlife are using the bridges to safely cross roads and to move back and forth between wildlife corridors.

Vicki Sharpe, (850) 414-5326 or vicki.sharpe@dot.state.fl.us



Picture of various animals

Doing the right thing - simply

"Keeping it simple" is more than a concept. It's a commitment.

It means using simple solutions when simple solutions will work.

It involves going beyond "compliance" to identify easy ways of helping wildlife and fish.

It means doing the right thing just because it's the right thing to do and because one has an opportunity to do it.

"We can build bat roosts in pre-fab bridge concrete or extend the right-of-way fence to create elkproof fencing," says April Marchese, Director of FHWA's Office of Natural and Human Environment. "Simple measures like these link habitats, reduce roadkill, and save taxpayer dollars."

This website highlights more than 100 simple, successful projects from all 50 states and beyond. Each is "easy." Most are low- or no-cost. All benefit wildlife, fish, or their habitats.

Many projects were completed only once - to protect specific species in specific environmental conditions. Others have been repeated numerous times and have become "routine."

Some projects are undertaken regularly because research has proven them effective. Others are new innovations, "best practices," or state-of-the-art strategies.

Some projects - for example, modifying mowing cycles and installing oversized culverts in streams - are common to a large number of states. Others represent a simple solution to a site-specific environmental challenge.

We invite you to explore them all. We encourage you to find out for yourselves, through this website, how transportation professionals are working with others to do the right thing for wildlife and--wherever possible--to do it "simply."

Updated: 12/12/2012
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