As humans have spread across the globe, we have built an expansive system of highways and travel routes, often right through the middle of the wilderness. While these roadways allow us to travel virtually anywhere, animals can often get caught in the middle of the road and get hurt.
To remedy this problem, engineers have begun building 'animal bridges' across highways to help wildlife cross safely. Check out these 29 of the most beautiful wildlife crossings from across the globe.
What are some of the most beautiful wildlife crossings from around the world?
So, without further ado, here are some of the world's most beautiful, and interesting, wildlife crossings from around the world. This list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.
1. This wildlife crossing from the Flathead Indian Reservation, Montana, USA is great
Located in Western Montana off of the Flathead River, home to 3 different Native American tribes. Established in 1855 this wildlife reservation consists of 1,938 square miles of untouched wilderness. Home to hundreds of species of mammals and birds, this crossing is essential to maintaining the flow of wildlife in the area.
2. Check out this wildlife bridge on Highway A50 in the Netherlands
The A50 highway runs almost completely through the Netherlands, with traffic speeds reaching upwards of 50 MPH, hitting animals would cause serious injury. This crossing funnels the local wildlife safely across the highway.
3. This Animal Crossing in Banff, Alberta, Canada saves many lives
Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada is one of the premier wildlife reservations in North America, so protecting the animals from traffic is obviously the main concern. So far, the Park has opened 6 overpasses and 38 underpasses to keep the local wildlife safe.
4. Here is another wildlife crossing on the B38 in Birkenau, Germany
A beautiful 'Ecoduct' arched crossing passing over the B38 highway in Germany. This crossing does not sport edges to keep the animals from falling, although the naturalistic approach is enough to keep people and wildlife safe.
5. This crab bridge on Christmas Island, Australia is awesome
Christmas Island is home to thousands of crabs that migrate each year, and this crab bridge was built in a rather intriguing shape. Crabs are obviously much different than other wildlife, so this bridge was built to maximize the ability of traffic to pass underneath while still providing viable passage for crabs.
6. Here is another wildlife crossing over Compton Road in Queensland, Australia
This passageway has lush greenery over the top which makes it almost indistinguishable from the surrounding ground. Wildlife crossings that flow easily from the natural landscape create an easier crossing for the local fauna.
7. Meet the "Ecoduct de Borkeld A1" in Rijssen, Netherlands
This crossing connects the nature reserve De Borkeld where the A1 passes through. When the highway was designed, great care was taken to disrupt nature as little as possible.
8. The E314 in Genk, Belgium have a wildlife crossing too
This 125-kilometer roadway crosses through 3 nations spanning many diverse environments. Designers of this crossing have intentionally kept it bare in order to allow the wildlife to recognize the crossing easier.
9. You can find a wildlife crossing over Interstate 78, New Jersey, USA
This wildlife crossing is probably the least aesthetically pleasing on the list, but it gets the job done. Spanning across Interstate 78 in New Jersey, this overgrown crossing keeps cars from striking animals and causing deadly wrecks.
10. You can also find a wildlife crossing at Keechelus Lake, Washington, USA
Keechelus lake is part of the Columbia River Basin where Interstate 90 runs along most of the shoreline. This location is rich in natural beauty, and protecting nature is at the forefront of the engineers in the area.
11. Check out this cute "Turtle Tunnel" in Japan
In Japan, they have specially designed "Turtle Tunnels" for these venerable reptiles underneath their train tracks. This is, frankly, adorable.
12. New Zealand has special penguin underpasses
In New Zealand, they have specially designed tunnels to allow penguins to traverse human transportation networks. How cool is that?
13. This rope bridge in Victoria, Australia is awesome
This cute little rope bridge over The Hume Freeway in Victoria, Australia is an amazing example of wildlife bridges from around the world. Seen here in use by cockatoos, they were actually designed to help squirrel gliders.
14. The Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National Park has a great tunnel too
The Trans-Canada Highway in Canada's Banff National Park also has some amazing wildlife crossings. In this case, they have built underpasses for animals, like grizzly bears, to pass under the highway in complete safety.
15. New England has some amazing salamander tunnels
In Amherst, Massachusetts, they have actually built special tunnels under their roads to allow animals like salamanders to safely cross.
16. Kenya has special wildlife underpasses too
Kenya is also getting in on the act. They have, in certain locations, built specialized animal underpasses for animals like elephants to use safe and sound.
17. Powys in Mid Wales, UK has actual toad tunnels
In Powys, Mid Wales, UK, authorities have actually designed and built a series of "toad tunnels" to allow small animals, like amphibians, to cross busy roads safely.
18. Here's a special cattle underpass in Victoria, Australia
Not only do they have rope bridges for little animals in Victoria, Australia, but they also have cattle underpasses.
19. They actually have "Salmon Cannons" in Eastern Washington
Meet the "Salmon Cannon" on the Columbia River, Eastern Washington. This amazing innovation enables fish, like salmon, to cross major river obstacles like dams. Developed by Whooshh Innovations, this fish-passage system is a gambit to help bring the species back to the Upper Columbia River.
20. Check out these amphibian wildlife crossings in California
In certain parts of California, you can actually find specially designed wildlife crossings for our amphibian friends. These minor engineering works keep these tiny critters safe from the hazards of fast-moving traffic.
21. This teeny-tiny suspension bridge is another amazing wildlife crossing
Over one of Longview, Washington's main roads you can find the Bruce Kamp Memorial Bridge. This tiny suspension bridge helps animals small enough to use it to cross this road in safety.
22. Here is another cute little toad tunnel
Toad tunnels are fast becoming our favorite kind of wildlife crossings. This example from California might just be one of the greatest in the entire world.
23. Australia's Christmas Island has red crab tunnels
Not content with seemingly over-engineering crab bridges, Australia's Christmas Island also has specially designed red crab transit tunnels. As you can see from the above image, these diminutive little crustaceans appear to love the idea.
24. This wildlife crossing lets local animals cross six-lane intersection with ease
In Utah, this wildlife crossing over a six-lane intersection saves hundreds of animals' lives every year. Previously known as "Slaughter Row", this section of the highway is a lot less dangerous for the local fauna today.
25. Here is another amazing wildlife crossing from Germany
This wildlife crossing overpass over the Bundesstraße 51, in Stadtkyll, Germany is surprisingly beautiful. It was built in 2018.
26. This wildlife crossing in Nevada was built to reconnect a migration path
Here is another example of a wildlife crossing built to save human and animal lives. This one was built by the Nevada Department of Transportation to help reconnect a lost mule deer migration path cut by the US-93 and I-80 roads in Elko County, Nevada.
27. "Life, uh, finds a way"
In the truest spirit of Dr. Ian Malcolm's famous line in Jurassic Park, nature doesn't always need mankind to build them special wildlife crossings to stay safe. Many animals have found that things like culverts are a great way to cross major highways safely.
28. This wildlife crossing in Brazil is like a work of art
This amazing concept for a wildlife crossing actually looks like a work of art. We really hope this project is realized.
29. This squirrel bridge is fabulous
And finally, this specially designed and built squirrel bridge in Longview, Washington, is something to behold. While a simple rope would probably suffice, the designers went the extra mile to make it look absolutely amazing.