Last week, Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources released a video of the state's first ever wildlife overpass. The project, which allows animals to move across a landscape increasingly covered in roads, appears to be a success.
Roads, especially busy, high-speed ones, pose an enormous risk to animals such as coyotes, moose, and bears. Traffic accidents are a leading cause of death for large mammals in North America, in addition to being very dangerous for people driving the vehicles that collide with these animals. Roads and private lands also slam the door on vital animal movement corridors, keeping populations of animals restricted to smaller ranges. This restriction leads to less genetic diversity and greater susceptibility to local natural disasters, such as fires.
Human-made corridors are a popular solution allowing wildlife to travel safely across human-impacted landscapes. In this case, Utah DWR's video shows an highway's abandoned overpass converted to safe walkway for the state's abundant wildlife.
The full video is worth a watch, but here are some fun screengrabs for your pleasure as well, all courtesy of Utah DWR's public video.