Roads pose a significant threat to wildlife across North America. Wild animals, and even plants, need to move across landscapes to survive —just like humans. Roads serve as a direct barrier to movement, impeding the ability of wildlife to move safely to find food, water and mates.
Hundreds of millions of animals die as a result of wildlife-vehicle collisions on North American roads every year. These deaths hinder the recovery of endangered species. As barriers to movement, roads can cause genetic isolation within populations, thereby contributing to biodiversity decline. Wildlife-related car accidents are also a danger to people, resulting in thousands of human fatalities every year.
Wildlands Network is a leader in the field of road ecology, which aims to understand and mitigate wildlife-vehicle collisions and the impact of roads on ecosystems.
Together with local, state and federal partners in the United States and Mexico, we identify roads of critical concern for wildlife, conduct field research to better understand the issues at hand, and develop location-specific measures to address them. We also work with lawmakers at the state and federal level to craft policies designed to incentivize greater investment in road crossings and other wildlife-friendly improvements, as well as to integrate these considerations into planning for new road projects from the outset.
While we cannot prevent all wildlife-vehicle collisions, we can create a future where roads are safer for both wildlife and humans.
Learn more about our project to restore wildlife connectivity along Interstate 40 near Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Road Ecology in the Pigeon River Gorge