Policy Update

First In Science: Study Confirms Animal Usage of Wildlife Crossings



NCEL Point of Contact

Ruth Musgrave
Conservation Senior Advisor


A new study published in Frontiers evaluated the effectiveness of wildlife crossings along highway US 93 North in western Montana. To measure effectiveness, the researchers compared animal movements on 15 crossings with similar designs to movements within the surrounding area. They then compared the movement of the crossings against each other. Results found that animals in the study were 146% more likely to use the crossings than to cross at a random location. Results also included that the amount of animals using the different crossings varied based off the location. These results indicate that crossings are effective in connecting wildlife habitats and that location could be more important than design in terms of effectiveness.

Wildlife crossings can take the form of highway and road overpasses, underpasses, or culverts, which provide safe crossing for animals and recreation and help reduce human-wildlife collisions. Please contact NCEL if you would like assistance with wildlife crossings in your state.   


  • The full article is available online through Frontiers.
  • An article about the study can be found at Science Daily.
  • For more information on wildlife crossings and corridors, and to download a fact sheet on this topic, visit NCEL’s website.
  • If you have questions about wildlife crossings and corridors, contact NCEL’s Conservation Coordinator Ruth Musgrave.