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World’s Biggest Wildlife Crossing to be Built in Los Angeles

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Americans do not often agree over the politics of environmental/green issues. One thing they can always unite upon, though, is the love of animals.

The welfare of Californian animals got a huge boost late last year with the announcement that the world’s biggest wildlife crossing will be built in Los Angeles, protecting animals from the intrusion of freeways and associated dangers. The project will break ground sometime in 2021.

The need for the crossing was realized when environmentalists cautioned that Los Angeles County’s extensive development has created pockets of isolated habitat sliced up by immense roads like the 101, 110, and 405. This creates problems for the large mountain lion population, who attempt to cross the road and may be killed by traffic. 

In fact, in the United States, estimates say that road systems affect the ecology of one-fifth of the country’s land area and that vehicle-animal collisions cost $8 billion each year. 

Beth Pratt of the National Wildlife Federation, one of several partner organizations working on the LA project, said this is not the only problem, “it’s a little deeper than just that the animals are getting hit by cars, they are becoming genetically isolated because animals cannot move into the small islands of habitat that are created by our freeways.

Credit: Johanna Turner

The crossing project is funded by 2700 private donors, including the National Wildlife Federation and Save LA Cougars, a non-profit set up to support the project. Together, they have raised $15 million for the construction of a 165-foot crossing that will pass over the 101 in Liberty Canyon. Designs are set to be released shortly,

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