If you build it, will it work?

The Applied Ecologist

Following the recent article, Evaluating the success of wildlife crossing structures using genetic approaches and an experimental design: Lessons from a gliding mammal by Kylie Soanes et al., Associate Editor, Yolanda Wiersma explores the world of wildlife crossing structures.

Large-scale restoration projects represent human optimism in the face of anthropogenic change. In response to the negative effects of human activities on habitat loss and fragmentation, humans have engineered some impressive structures to attempt to restore habitat connectivity. Aerial images of some of the larger highway crossing structures that have been built to facilitate wildlife movement are impressive. Less dramatic, but still important, are smaller crossing structures, such as toad underpasses, modified culverts for fish passage or overhead canopy bridges or glider poles for volant mammals. Installation of all such structures carries a cost, both in terms of research to identify how to optimally design and locate them, and to construct…

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