Road ecology blog: Wildlife fence (smaller mesh size towards bottom) funnels wildlife towards wildlife underpass, Hwy 331, Hwy 83 near Freeport, Florida, USA.
This highway was recently upgraded from a 2-lane highway to a 4-lane highway. Part of the highway isolates Eglin Air Force Base Wildlife Management Area (west side of highway) and the private nature reserve Nokuse Plantation (east side of the highway). A 1.6 mile (2.6 km) long road section has wildlife fencing on both sides of the highway, and there are three wildlife underpasses within this fenced road section (completed in 2012).
Below are images of the most southern underpass; a 10 ft (3 m) box culvert. The wildlife fencing keeps medium and large mammals off the highway and it guides them to the safe crossing opportunity. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and black bear (Ursus americanus) are among the likely target species. Note that the wildlife fence has a very tight connection to the walls of the box culvert. This helps keep animals out of the fenced road corridor where they may be hit by vehicles. There is also a pond near the east side of the wildlife underpass. This can help attract wildlife to the area near the underpass and it may encourage them to explore and use the underpass.
Click here for images of wildlife fencing.
Click here for images of multifunctional underpasses.
Click here for images of wildlife underpasses.
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Images below: Tight connection (no gap) between last fence post and wall of the wildlife underpass, Hwy 331, Hwy 83 near Freeport, Florida, USA
Image below: Pond (water) near entrance of wildlife underpass, Hwy 331, Hwy 83 near Freeport, Florida, USA