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【VOA】 华盛顿州为野生动物修建专用高架桥

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发表于 2019-1-9 23:11:14 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式




How Did the Animals Cross the Road?

In the U.S. state of Washington, a road called Interstate 90 cuts through a wild, mountainous area to reach the city of Seattle. For the area's many kinds of animals, the busy highway greatly limits their movements. Crossing I-90 – as the road is called – is a risky but sometimes necessary act. But soon, animals will have a safer choice for crossing the road. They will be able to go above it.

Jen Watkins is with Washington's Conservation Northwest organization. She said, "Everything from an elk down to a small salamander, they need to move to find food, to find mates, to find new places to live as their populations expand or just when conditions change, like a fire breaks out."

To help the animals, the state is finishing work on its largest-ever wildlife bridge. The 11-meter-tall, 20-meter-wide structure begins in the forest. It forms two arches above the highway, one for each direction of traffic.

Workers are adding fencing and plants to help guide the animals across the bridge. Two-meter-thick walls will help block noise from vehicles below.

Scientists chose the area because it is within a natural migration path for some animals.

At least one animal has already used the bridge. Washington's Transportation Department tweeted last week that a wildlife camera captured a video of a coyote running over Interstate 90 on the new structure. The agency wrote, "Excited to see what other species cross!"

More crossings needed?

The I-90 bridge is part of a growing number of wildlife crossings across the United States. Some are fences, some are overland bridges, and some are underpasses. They all aim to keep drivers and animals away from each other.

A 2008 U.S. Transportation Department study found crashes between animals and humans rose year by year. The accidents made up about 5 percent of all crashes nationally, and, at the time, cost the economy about $8 billion. Such costs come from car repairs, emergency room visits and removal of the dead animals on roads.

Collisions between animals and drivers are rarely deadly to people. But they are often deadly to wildlife. The 2008 study also found that 21 endangered or threatened species in the U.S. are affected by vehicle hits.

In Canada's Banff National Park, studies have found that bridges, underpasses and fencing reduce the area's animal-driver collisions by 80 percent.

And in the western U.S. state of Wyoming, crossing points and fencing built for a migration of North American pronghorns helped reduce animal-driver crashes by 85 percent.

Most of the wildlife bridges are in western states. But experts have noted many other areas that have a need for such paths.

Jen Watkins, whose organization has helped campaign for animal crossings, says finding money for more crossings is "the number-one obstacle."

Patty Garvey-Darda of the U.S. Forest Service has worked on the I-90 crossing from the start of the project. She says the $6- million bridge will one day pay for itself because the highway will not have to be fully or partly closed each time a large animal is struck.

Garvey-Darda said, "If you shut down Interstate 90, you shut down interstate commerce."

I'm Jonathan Evans.

参考译文

华盛顿州为野生动物修建专用高架桥

在美国的华盛顿州,一条名为“90号州际公路”的道路横穿一片野外山区,直达西雅图市。对于该地区的许多动物来说,这条川流不息的公路极大地限制了它们的活动。横穿90号州际公路(I-90)是一种冒险的行为,但有时候又不得不穿。然而,不久后,动物们过马路有了更安全的选择——从公路上方横穿。

珍·沃特金斯(Jen Watkins)在华盛顿保护西北组织任职。她表示,“无论大到麋鹿,还是小到火蜥蜴,所有动物都需要四处活动觅食、寻找配偶、寻找新栖息地,这是它们数量增长或生存环境变化的需求(如山火肆虐)。

为了帮助这些动物们,华盛顿州正在完成有史以来最大的野生动物高架桥的建设工作。这条高架桥高11米、宽20米,始发点位于丛林中。高架桥在公路上方形成了2道拱门,每个方向各设一道。

工人们正在架设围墙和植物,帮助引导动物过桥。围墙厚2米,将有助于隔绝下方车流的噪音。

科学家选择这片区域是因为这里是一些动物自然迁徙的必经之地。

至少有一种动物已经走过这座高架桥。华盛顿交通部上周发推文称,野生动物摄像头捕捉到一只郊狼在90号州际公路上方的新落成的高架桥上跑过的视频。交通部在推文中写道,“看到其他动物过桥真是让人兴奋!”

I-90号州际公路是美国各地越来越多的野生动物的过景点之一。有些是围墙,有些是陆路桥梁,有些是地下通道。这些工程旨在让司机和动物“各行其道”。

2008年美国交通部的一项研究发现,动物与人类的碰撞事故日益增多。这类事故占全国所有碰撞事故的近5%,同时造成近80亿美元的经济损失。这些损失来自于车辆维修、急救检查、清理路面动物尸体等。

动物和司机的碰撞事故对于人类说几乎很少有致命的,但对于野生动物来说恰恰相反。2008年的这项研究还发现,美国有21类濒危物种是受到车辆撞击的影响。

在加拿大班夫国家公园,有研究发现:桥梁、地下通道、围栏可将该地区人与动物相撞率降低80%。

在美国西部的怀俄明州,为北美洲糜鹿迁徙所建造的通道和围栏让人类与动物的相撞率降低了85%。

大多数为野生动物建造的桥梁都位于美国西部某些州。但专家指出,其他很多地区也需要这样的设施。

珍所在的组织曾助力为动物建造越境通道。她表示,为建造这样的设施筹措资金是“最大的困难。”

在美国林务局任职的帕蒂·加维·德拉达(Patty Garvey-Darda)从I-90项目初期就一直跟进。她表示,这座耗资600万美元的桥梁早晚会彰显其价值,因为I-90不必再因为某只大型动物堵塞了交通而做完全或部分封锁了。

加维·德拉达表示,“如果I-90封锁了,州际贸易也就没法做了。”

乔纳森·埃文斯为您播报。


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