Target: Jim Kurth, Acting Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services
Goal: Create rope bridges across busy roadways for squirrels.
Squirrels are probably the most common animal to become roadkill. Wild animals are unaccustomed to vehicles and don’t know the true danger of entering a roadway. Not every driver keeps an eye out for any wildlife that might accidentally stray out onto the roads. For those that do stop, that can cause additional accidents depending on the driving conditions. Most of the time, squirrels are scampering around in the trees and only take to the ground for food foraging or if they have to cross a road. These critters are highly adapted to life in the trees and are quite the acrobats. Building a rope bridge that crosses over roadways would eliminate the need for squirrels to cross on the ground.
Getting squirrels off the roads would be an end to a safety issue that many of us don’t always think about. Drivers would no longer have to try to avoid squirrels as they make their mad dash across the pavement. In order to build these bridges, all that would be needed would be two anchor points and a large amount of sturdy rope. The squirrels would be able to cross the bridge by first climbing one of the anchor points. The anchor points could be trees already in the area or lamp poles along sidewalks. More complex bridges could have net type crossings that might give squirrels a little more safety by preventing potential falls.
Drivers would no longer have to worry about how to avoid hitting a squirrel while also avoiding causing an accident with other vehicles. Squirrels might not seem like a threat to drivers like deer are, but when a driver tries to avoid hitting an animal of any size it can have repercussions. Most people do their best to avoid hitting an animal in the road, but the smaller the animal, the harder that can be.
Squirrels are well-adapted to living alongside humans, except when it comes to vehicles. As these rodents lose their habitats due to human developments, it seems like a small thing to do to offer them safe passage over roads. Please sign this petition to urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to build these bridges.
Dear Jim Kurth,
Each year, thousands of squirrels are killed by vehicles. Creating safe crossings for these charismatic critters is of utmost importance. As people spread into wildlife areas, it is mandatory that we offer the wildlife a better way to deal with human development.
By creating a rope bridge over roads for squirrels, you would be cutting down on the number of accidents that can be caused by trying to avoid hitting an animal. Unfavorable road conditions or highly congested areas can spell disaster for someone trying to avoid killing a squirrel as it tries to cross the road. These bridges would be fairly simple, consisting of two anchor points and a single rope or a net that would stretch across the section of road. Anchors could be lamp posts or trees or other poles.
Squirrel crossings would also help squirrel populations remain stable, which in turn would help natural predator populations. It’s time to make an effort and create a safer existence for squirrels. I urge you to create these road bridges and help squirrels remain a part of our everyday experience.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Ingrid Taylar