Bryan Tingstad sent me this really great story the other day from The World Geography about overpasses that have been constructed solely for the purpose of allowing safe passage across very busy highways for animals migrating or otherwise moving through their territories.
The benefit of these Wildlife Corridors is multi-fold: they save animals’ lives directly; preserve communities of species (possibly even saving species isolated to a diminishing environment); connect regions of their territory previously severed by roads and highways; and save human lives and damage to property caused by collisions with animals (and if you ever came up on a moose at night, you’ll know how dangerous such a collision would be).
The most interesting aspect about these structures is that animals quickly adapt to incorporate them into their routes and, since young mammals such as deer, bear, elk, etc…remain with their parents for over a year or two (herd animals forever), the young learn these routes and keep the knowledge for a lifetime, and pass it on to their offspring in turn.
The video essay below has a great sampling of these wildlife corridors from around the world. To me, these structures are real architectural wonders, and a testament to our humanity. They are true works of art, not simply in appearance, but by what they say about those who imagined and created them.