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Joseph A. Burns CWB
National Threatened and Endgangered Species Program Leader
Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air, Rare Plants
1400 Independance Ave SW - MS1121
Washington, D.C. 20250-1121
(202) 205-0919


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Common Types of Wildlife Crossing Structures

NOTE: This Table's purpose it to illustrate commonly used terms, NOT to RECOMMEND them. Please see the Database accounts for details.

These summary tables are illustrated, brief overviews of the most commonly used structures in the field of wildlife crossings. The Summary of Crossing Stucture Types tables consist of 4 pages, and are designed to be printed on 8 ½” by 11” paper in landscape format. The Glossarycontains many more terms and longer definitions, but this Summary shows the most common terms in the Wildlife Crossings Toolkit.

Please remember that the Wildlife Crossings Toolkit uses standardized terminology (except for Short Articles taken from other sources). Terminology was standardized because these terms are inconsistently used across the world, and interdisciplinary innovation suffers when people are confused.

It’s a good idea to define definitions early in any interdisciplinary discussion so that people can all be ‘on the same page’. These pages of definitions may help by reducing confusion, giving your team more time to work through the challenging issues on your project.

The following are viewable on your computer screen one page at a time.

Summary of Crossing Structure Types:

Special thanks to illustrator Paul Karr, retired engineer from the USDA Forest Service at Bonners Ferry Ranger District, Idaho Panhandle National Forests, for the illustrations in the Summary of Crossing Structure Types table. 

Page Last Modified: July 21, 2015

Additional Information

Want a quick primer on how to describe a wildlife crossing structure? Here’s what the International Conference on Ecology and Transportation recommend for describing structures and some other common road ecology terms.

Proposed Recommended Terminology for ICOET2011 Presentations, Papers and Posters (pdf)