Ladders for Voles—Man-made Wildlife Crossings

Ladders for Voles—Plus 5 Man-made Wildlife Crossings

Posted by Linda Poon on May 16, 2013

The old joke asks, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” But in the world of wildlife conservation, the big question is, “How did the animal cross the road?” And the answer is often: With the help of a bridge or tunnel so there are no worries about animal-vehicle collisions.

A vole ladder is installed. Photograph courtesy Canal & River Trust

One conservation group is testing, for the first time ever, wooden ladders to expand the habitat of endangered water voles in London. The Canal and River Trust hopes that the “superhighways”—designed to guide the voles over the tall edges of the Grand Union Canal—will help an isolated group venture beyond the small pond they live in and into the canal, where they can nest in and feed on new man-made islands. If successful, more ladders will be installed throughout London to encourage the voles to make more use of the canals. Then the city’s fragmented vole populations can connect, mate, and improve their genetic diversity.

Here are five other ways that man-made structures help animals avoid obstacles to get to the other side.

via Ladders for Voles—Plus 5 Man-made Wildlife Crossings – News Watch.

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