Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ecological Bridge In Northern Israel Is Big Hit With Animals

Partridges crossing the eco-bridge
The new ecological bridge that enables wild animals to cross highway in northern Israel was built by Netivei Israel, the national roads company, as part of a 1.2 billion shekel ($318.4 million) project, launched three years ago.

The overpass is necessary because the route of the paved road goes through areas that constitute habitats for hundreds of species of plants and wildlife.

The bridge, which hangs 6.6 meters above the roadway and is 50 meters long and 45 meters wide, is covered with earth so that it serves as a continuation of the open natural expanses in the area. The bridge’s lighting was also planned so as not to disturb the wildlife.

Initial follow-up by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) has revealed that foxes, wild boar and jackals are using the bridge. Gazelles are also expected to start using the crossing soon.

The first such animal bridge in Israel was built by the Cross-Israel Highway Company over Route 70, south of Mount Carmel. The second was constructed over the Trans-Israel Highway near Zichron Yaakov.

The INPA reports that each bridge is used by at least 10 species of mammals, including gazelles, boar, jackals, foxes, porcupines and badgers.

One additional eco-bridge en route to Jerusalem on Highway 1 is under construction, and plans for two more have been approved. The INPA is hoping another wildlife crossing will be built in the Yagur area to link the Carmel region to areas that are further north.

Source: Haaretz

#Israel #Environment #AnimalRights

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