Fundación ProAves – por las aves y su hábitat en Colombia

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Elevated Bridges: Safe Crossing for Wildlife

4 June, 2021

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Overpasses have been used across the world to minimize the impact of roads on wildlife, and their use is becoming increasingly common in our country. On the road that passes through Arrierito Antioqueño ProAves Reserve, located in the municipality of Anorí, Antioquia department, 8 elevated bridges have been installed thanks to the Government of Antioquia, the department of transportation, the municipality and CORANTIOQUIA. The aim of these bridges is to protect the lives of the wildlife that calls Antioquia home.  

In addition, the community and visitors of the municipality of Anorí have been informed about the importance of conserving nature and being respectful of all kinds of life– not only our fellow human beings, but also the wild animals that share the lands we live on.

WILDLIFE CROSSINGS IN ARRIERITO ANTIOQUEÑO PROAVES RESERVE

In November 2006, ProAves created Arrierito Antioqueño ProAves Reserve with the aim of protecting the habitat of the Arrierito Antioqueño (Lipaugus weberi), a species of bird endemic to the country and in critical danger of extinction. To create the Natural Reserve (a critical habitat for hundreds of plant and animal species) ProAves acquired eight properties, several of them adjacent to the road that connects the head of the municipality with the city of Medellin. Being nearby a major metropolitan area, the natural area is intersected by 6km of this route.

Until a few years ago, the section of road to Anorí was very narrow, with sharp, unpaved curves, making travel difficult and slow. Given these conditions, cars needed to travel slowly, and didn’t pose a large threat to crossing wildlife. However, between 2018 and 2020, the Government of Antioquia conducted a highway expansion project, repaving the highway to Anori. This project completely changed the road– turning it from an underdeveloped roadway to a modern, high-speed thoroughfare. Not only has the speed of the traffic increased, but the volume as well. Additionally, the road is now accessible to municipalities that previously were unable to access it.

These route changes have created high risk conditions for wildlife collisions. However, from the very beginning, the Government of Antioquia and partners undertaking the project have kept the ProAves Reserve at the forefront of their minds.

They have implemented measures to minimize the impact of the work on Arrierito Antioqueño ProAves Reserve, and on its wildlife. These measures include excellent demarcation and signage around the protect area, as well as the strategic construction of underpasses and 8 elevated bridges for safe animal crossing. Upon entering the Natural Reserve, passersby instantly see signs indicating their entry into a protected area. The impressive elevated bridges also stand out in the landscape. The beautiful, state of the art infrastructure is juxtaposed with the beauty of 6km of pristine tropical forest.

We greatly appreciate the support of the Government of Antioquia, the department of transportation, the Mayor’s Office of Anorí, CORANTIOQUIA and the community for helping us protect our beautiful wildlife.