Bridges like the one being built in California are called wildlife crossings. These special paths make it possible for animals to safely cross busy roads.
In Washington State, squirrels scamper across the 60-foot-long Nutty Narrows Bridge. In Vermont, tiny tunnels protect frogs from dangerous traffic. In Australia, red crabs use an overpass created specially for them.
Why do these creatures need their own crossings? Until recently, most of the world’s land was grass and dirt. Animals could safely migrate, or travel, to find food as seasons changed.
But in the past 100 years, cars have changed the way we live. The United States alone has added more than 2.6 million miles of paved roads. These roads cut through animals’ habitats, or homes.
Creatures that don’t attempt to cross through traffic could starve, but those that do try might not make it to the other side. In the U.S., as many as 2 million large animals are hit by cars and trucks every year. In some of these accidents, humans are killed and injured too.