I live in the Netherlands which is a small country with a dense population and therefore many roads with a lot of traffic. The other day I was driving in the northeastern part of the Netherlands where there are quite some nature areas with beautiful animals. The highway I was driving on crosses one of these nature areas, effectively dividing wildlife territory. Now, that involves the risk of animal-vehicle collisions. Usually you see warning signs along the road for crossing wildlife.

 

One example of traffic signs to warn drivers for crossing animals

One of the, in my eyes, always amazing structures you see these days are ecoducts or wildlife crossings. A what? Let me explain. An ecoduct is a viaduct or a natural bridge to allow animals to cross a road. In the Netherlands, ecoducts are part of the ecological main structure, which aims to promote biodiversity. They even exist in the shape of tunnels and (eco-)aquaducts and can cross highways and railroad tracks.

There are actually several reasons for these structures. Of course to avoid the above mentioned animal-vehicle collisions. But they also compensate somewhat of the fragmentation of nature caused by the highways and railroads. What the impact is of these attempts to have mankind and animals co-exist in the same areas without harming each other is still being researched. But it definitely seems there are less collisions between animals and vehicles.

If you would like to read more about this, below the following videos are a few links with interesting information.

 

University of Wageningen: http://www.wur.nl/nl/Dossiers/dossier/Ecoducten.htm

http://www.saferoad-cedr.org/en/saferoad.htm

https://www.natuurmonumenten.nl/natuurgebied/de-veluwe/ecoducten

(The featured image of this article is from https://www.prorail.nl/projecten/ecoduct-duinpoort)