Increasingly, states are installing “critter crossings” to help animals cross roads safely and avoid car accidents, reports Stateline.org. In Maine, the threat is moose. In Washington, elk. In Massachusetts, deer.
Florida has led the way in critter crossings with a series of 24 underpasses to protect the endangered panther along the I-75 Alligator Alley. The crossings have decreased panther road mortalities, according to a 2001 study by the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission. California underpasses in the Mojave Desert protect the region's tortoises. Two tunnels in Amherst, Mass., help guide migrating salamanders across a road to warm, fishless mating ponds. Washington state is scheduled to build a series of wildlife passages in 2011 in the Snoqualmie Pass, a 15-mile stretch of land through dense mountainous forests along I-90. At $100 million, the seven-year project would be the most extensive and expensive of its kind in the United States.