Eco-Bridges and their Significance

Ramnagar Forest Division in the Nainital, Uttarakhand had built the first ever eco-bridges for the smaller mammals and reptiles, recently.

What are Eco-bridges?

  • Eco-bridges which are also called as Eco-ducts are built with the aim of enhancing the wildlife connectivity that gets disrupted due to highways or logging.
  • The bridges comprise of canopy bridges which are built for monkeys, squirrels and other arboreal species.
  • It also comprise of concrete underpasses or overpass tunnels which are used by larger animals and amphibian tunnels or culverts.
  • Such bridges are covered with plants from the area so as to give it a contiguous look with the landscape.

Need of Eco-bridges

  • The cases of roadkills, especially of reptiles including the monitor lizard, in the Ramnagar Forest Division route has increased over time.
  • Further, a study by National Tiger Conservation Authority shows that three major sites , including National Highway 37 through the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong landscape in Assam and State Highway 33 through the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve in Karnataka, cuts across animal corridors.
  • So, these bridge will help in awareness-building mechanism on this congested tourist route.
  • Construction of these bridges seeks to show that, how the ecosystem can be preserved for the reptiles that feed on insects, for eagles that feed on snakes and for snakes that feed on reptiles.

More Bridges under consideration

The largest underpass for animal is being built along the Madhya Pradesh-Maharashtra Border. It is 1.4km in length. The underpass in under construction currently. There is a plan to built such underpass and bridges on the Chennai-Bangalore National Highway in the Hosur-Krishnagiri segment for elephant crossings and in the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra.

Existing Bridges

Five animal underpass and four minor bridges has been constructed on the Kanha-Pench and Pench-Navegaon-Nagzira corridors on NH-44 which is 6.6km in length.

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