Why Did the Ocelot Cross the Road…

Endangered Ocelot

Endangered Ocelot

This is Passport to Texas

Roads provide convenient travel to work, school and home for humans—but not for wildlife.

You have habitat loss. And then that physical road can act as a barrier to wildlife. It can impact habitat connectivity. Which, then, in turn can impact genetic transfer of information between populations, and weaken the genetic background for a species.

Laura Zebehazy, program leader for Wildlife Habitat Assessment, studies the impacts of roadways on wildlife, known as road ecology.

Basically, it is where biologists, engineers, landscape architects… try to evaluate the impacts that road infrastructure has on wildlife habitat connectivity, air pollution, noise pollution, and try to find solutions to alleviate those impacts from that type of development.

Endangered ocelots that live in Rio Grande Valley brush country have died on SH 100. TxDOT, in consultation with US Fish and Wildlife Service and Texas Parks and Wildlife, completed four wildlife underpasses along this popular route to South Padre Island.

To allow ocelot and any other wildlife in the area to move under the road between the Bahia Grande to the south, and the Port of Brownsville area up north towards Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.

With wildlife cameras in place, TxDOT will collect data on these solutions and adjust as necessary to save this (and other) rare species.

The Wildlife restoration Program supports our series. [WL.W136M8]

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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