Wildlife Connectivity and Crossings
Populations of native wildlife, fish and plant species in the United States are on the decline. Habitat fragmentation could have lasting negative effects on wildlife populations, ecosystem functions, and recreation for millions of Americans. There are four main reasons for concern. Wildlife is losing the ability to move, migrate, and disperse across landscapes as built infrastructure and increased development intersect habitat or cut off migration routes. Wildlife-vehicle collisions are on the increase, putting people and wildlife at risk of injury and death, and costing billions each year.
Large scale loss of and/or fragmentation of habitat threatens species’ access to food, migration, genetic diversity, and overall resilience – all further impacted by changes in climate.
State agencies are dealing with growing responsibilities while experiencing decreased funding to address infrastructure needs and to manage and protect habitat.
Studies have shown that the best way to prevent biodiversity loss is to keep landscapes connected. Wildlife corridors and wildlife crossings are vital and cost-effective ways to maintain resilient ecosystems and to protect public health and safety on roads.
NCEL Point of Contact
Wildlife and Habitat CoordinatorContact
Wildlife-vehicle collisions cost over $8 billion annually. Wildlife crossings pay for themselves quickly in costs saved for emergency and medical assistance, property damage, and value of animals lost.
One in five native species in the United States are at risk of extinction and many species that are not protected by law are decreasing in numbers because of human encroachment; habitat connectivity is critical for species.
Over 100 million Americans spent $150 billion on wildlife-related recreation in 2016, and when managed well, recreation can assist with wildlife conservation."