Federal Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program is a Smart Investment to Protect Biodiversity

Funding for Wildlife Crossings will benefit endangered species

Today, the Federal Highways Administration opened its next round of grants from the Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program, announcing that it will award up to $145 million in FY 2025 and $80 million in FY 2026 in dedicated federal funding for the construction of wildlife crossings as well as research, planning, and design to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions. Wildlife crossings, including bridges, tunnels, overpasses, underpasses, and culverts, allow animals to cross highways and roads, avoiding the fatal threat of vehicle collisions. 

“Making roads safer for both wildlife and people is doable; it just takes commitment and investment,” said  Jewel Tomasula, Policy Advisor, Endangered Species Coalition. “The Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program has proven to be popular and has high potential to benefit our country’s most vulnerable species.”

“Allowing wildlife safe passage across roads is one of the most important things we can do to protect biodiversity, especially in the face of a changing climate that will push species to search for new habitats,” said Susan Holmes, Executive Director,  Endangered Species Coalition. “Many threatened and endangered species, such as ocelots, red wolves, and Florida panthers, are directly imperiled by roads.”

A recent study determined roads are a major threat to 29 federally threatened and endangered animal species in Florida alone. Nationally, a 2008 Federal Highway Administration report identified twenty-one threatened and endangered species for which road mortality is among the major threats to the survival of the species. 

In the first round of grant awards from the Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program, two projects are specifically designed to protect endangered wildlife. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will construct underpass crossings for ocelots in the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes will construct an overpass spanning US Highway 93 within the Ninepipe National Wildlife Management Area in Montana to reduce crash-related mortality for grizzly bears in Montana. States, municipalities, Tribes, and federal agencies are among the eligible grant applicants.

Please click here for more information about the program and to apply for these grants. 


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