Effectiveness Of Fauna Crossings

Many studies have been conducted to determine the effectiveness of fauna crossings (wildlife crossings) at providing habitat connectivity and reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions. The effectiveness of fauna structures is predominantly site-specific. This is due to differences in location, fauna structure, species, habitat, etc. But fauna crossings appear to have been beneficial to several species throughout different locations around Australia. According to the study of the Nevada Department of Transportation, all of the crossing structures were very effective at:

  •  reducing collisions between ungulates and vehicles
  • preserving migratory corridors
  • reducing fragmentation of habitats throughout human-altered landscapes
  • making roadways safer for both wildlife and motorists.
animal crossing new leaf bridges
Effectiveness of Fauna Crossings

Do animals use Fauna Crossings?

New research from Griffith University researchers, shows that Koalas have quickly learned to use wildlife passageways to cross busy roads in Australia as they move between habitats.

The study, published in the journal Wildlife Research, used multiple technologies to track individual koalas. They used cameras, GPS collars, and newly-developed wireless identification chips, which communicated with devices at the entrance and exit of each crossing.

To test the effectiveness, the research team caught and tagged koalas on either side of the crossings, in a region stretching from Brisbane to the Gold Coast.

Throughout the 30-month study, the researchers verified 130 koala crossings, though only about 21% of the tagged koalas used the structures.

The team’s cameras also caught a number of other animals using the wildlife crossings, including echidnas, goannas, possums and wallabies.

Will arboreal mammals use rope bridges across a highway in eastern Australia?

The research study of Ross L. Goldingay, David Rohweder, and Brendan D. Taylor suggests that rope bridges have the potential to restore habitat connectivity disrupted by roads for some arboreal mammals. They studied five 50–70-m-long rope bridges erected across the Pacific Highway, a major freeway in eastern Australia. Native arboreal mammals showed a willingness to explore these structures, being detected by camera traps on four rope bridges. The vulnerable squirrel glider crossed on one rope bridge at least once every 4.5 weeks over a 32-week period. The feathertail glider, common ringtail possum, and the common brushtail possum were detected on one of two rope bridges. The feathertail glider was detected on all three rope-bridge designs. [AM]
wildlife bridge