Monday, November 14, 2011

Critters are Picky About Their Culverts

The Washington Post reports on a $312,000 Maryland study on the use of road culvert by wildlife -- one way to reduce unnecesary (and expensive) vehicle impacts:

A wide variety of wild animals use drainage culverts to cross beneath roads but some species are choosy about tunnel types, a University of Maryland study has found.

Raccoons will use any kind but deer avoid culverts with cobbled floors and eastern gray squirrels don’t seem to like arch-shaped passages, the study’s lead author, ecologist J. Edward Gates, said Friday. Great blue herons prefer box-shaped culverts with sandy bottoms, the study found....

Researchers documented 57 species using the conduits, including nesting barn swallows, feral cats and white-tailed deer — a species of particular concern because they cause dozens of deaths in collisions each year around the country.

Want to know more about wildlife and roads? There's a whole web site devoted to it -- check it out!

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