Thursday, May 24, 2007

Frog Tunnels and Forest Bridges

You've got to love a country that has an amphibian protection system in place. When I first heard of this years ago, I checked the calendar to make sure it wasn't April Fools' Day. Don't get me wrong, I adore frogs, but the government actually spends money building walls and tunnels so that frogs don't hop onto the street and get smashed by cars? This is truly fantastic. Here's how it looks:

The froggy fence.

Careful! Frog migration!

It's a pretty good idea when you really think about it, because during frog migration so many frogs cross the street that if cars ran a good portion of them over, the street would get pretty slick with the little froggy corpses. So this is both for amphibian protection and our safety.

The forest bridge is another interesting German thing, but in my research of this topic, I found out that these not only exist in Germany, but also in England and Canada. This is a bridge, in Germany going over the Autobahn at various locations, that animals can use to get to the other side of the road without getting hit by cars. So that they use the bridge, high fences are in place along the highway giving them only one option of crossing the street: either use the bridge, or stay on your side of the street. And apparently animals really do use these. It might take a generation or two until the old animals who knew life before the bridge die out, leaving young animals who remember no other way of crossing the street except using the bridge. It's also animal friendly, planted with grass, so that no one can confuse it with a street. See below.

A forest bridge. This one's in England.

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