Wildlife passages – both those that travel under and over other roads – are a burgeoning infrastructure business in federal and province (or state) budgets these days. But the City of Edmonton has taken the cake in protecting their drivers – and wild neighbours.
For the last several years, the Albertan capital has created 27 wildlife passages, reducing the rate of wildlife collisions by as much as 51 per cent.
“A wildlife passage connects natural habitats, promotes biodiversity and prevents isolation of populations,” said Gary Klassen, general manager, Sustainable Development, in a release after the city won two awards for its wildlife passage program. “These wildlife passages forge an important link between nature and our growing city and prove our commitment to protect the biodiversity within Edmonton.”
In a recent video short, the Edmonton Journal spoke with Robert Nixon, a construction manager with developer Walton, at the site of a new passage in the city’s north end.
“From an engineering standpoint it’s a pretty standard bridge,” he noted. “We’ve moved the centre pier though so large animals like moose can get through without impacting their antlers on the abutments of pier.”
He added that items like tree stumps and hollowed out logs are placed in the system, too, making sure safe passage for smaller prey species is possible.
It is absolutely thrilling and inspirational to know that major cities like Edmonton are taking a progressive, leadership role in reducing wildlife conflict and keeping the wild families within their borders safe.
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