Wildlife - Vehicle Collisions

In addition to conservation concerns, wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs) have a high cost for human populations because collisions damage property and injure and kill passengers and drivers.

Each year in Australia many thousands of collisions occur between motor vehicles and animals. It results in considerable vehicle repair costs, injury to persons, and loss of animal life. These types of collisions accounted for 5.5 percent of all qualified on-road serious casualties. It is regarded as a serious problem that demands special attention in rural and remote locations. The most common species involved in these collisions were kangaroos and wallabies (44.8 percent ). In worldwide studies, nighttime travel was found to be a major risk factor.

The conservation issues associated with roads (wildlife mortality and habitat fragmentation) coupled with the substantial human and economic costs resulting from wildlife-vehicle collisions have caused scientists, engineers, and transportation authorities to consider several mitigation tools for reducing the conflict between roads and wildlife. 

Wildlife - Vehicle Collisions
wildlife crossing pacific highway

Of the currently available options, structures known as wildlife crossings have successfully reduced habitat fragmentation and wildlife-vehicle collisions caused by roads.

Wildlife crossings are structural passages beneath or above roadways designed to facilitate safe wildlife movement across roadways.

In recent years, conservation biologists and wildlife managers have advocated wildlife crossings coupled with roadside fencing to increase road permeability and habitat connectivity while decreasing (WVCs). Wildlife crossing is the umbrella term encompassing underpasses, overpasses, eco ducts, green bridges, amphibian/small mammal tunnels and wildlife viaducts.

These structures are designed to provide semi-natural corridors above and below roads so that animals can safely cross without endangering themselves and motorists.