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Contact Information

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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Glossary Terms

This Glossary is a compilation of common terms used byengineers and biologists on highway issues. Numeroushydrological terms are included as well, because many of the places where wildlife can most effectively cross in structures are near watercourses. The Glossary’s purpose is to create a common understanding between  disciplines, so professionals can spend more time on innovative solutions and less time wondering what the other person is talking about. 

Two simple summaries of terms used in highway applications are in the Summary of Crossing Structure Types , and the Typical Highway Cross-section Diagram. These two tools cover many of the structural terms used in the Wildlife Crossings Toolkit. Both are readily printable on 8 ½ “ x 11” printer paper for easy reference.


A - F     G - L     M - R    S - Z

Numbers in parenthesis are references.

Page Last Modified: February 18, 2014

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)