Use of Fauna Passages Along Waterways Under Highways

Since 1975, the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management in the Netherlands has been building fauna passages crossing under or over highways and also adapting viaducts, bridges and culverts for joint use by fauna. The use of specific fauna passages like ecoducts and badger and amphibian tunnels is relatively well-known, but with respect to adapted passages, until 1997 the authors knew very little about which species use them, and their frequency of use. To fill in this gap in that year a survey was carried out throughout the Netherlands on passageways along waterways crossing under highways, since many culverts and bridges were adapted in the nineties. One well-known and two rather new methods were used. Movements of animals were recorded with adapted infrared detectors. More detailed information was obtained from footprints and tracks, left in sandbeds and on paper, fixed on both sides of an 'ink' bed on the passageway. The target group of the footprint survey were mammals, though the authors collected tracks of amphibians as well. In 1998 an experimental study started to find out the optimal width of a passageway under a bridge and the effect of cover material put on an extended bank on the frequency of use. Again sandbeds and the ink method were used. The tested investigation methods for faunal movements worked well, provided the (larger) underpass was not heavily used by humans. All investigated passageways were used, but the broader they were, the more frequently they were used and the more species were found. Amphibians did not show this relationship between width and use of passageways. Extended banks seem to be most attractive: most species were found there. The experimental study will be continued.


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  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 7p

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01588358
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 28 2016 9:01AM