High Road or High Water for Wildlife

By Ashleigh Papp

While we were cooped up inside waiting out February’s storms, many animals were on the move. Cameras positioned along a creek in the Pacheco Pass wildlife corridor captured footage of animals passing through a culvert under a bridge on SR-152 that crosses Pacheco Creek. “We caught a bobcat on camera walking through the creek,” says Tanya Diamond, researcher with Pathways for Wildlife. “With her ears back and elbow-deep in water, you can tell she’s miserable.” As storms continued, the culvert eventually flooded to the point of impassibility. “On days when they couldn’t go through the culvert, they had to take a gamble and go across the road,” says Diamond. Lindsay Vivian, a wildlife biologist with Caltrans says that the data “is helpful in identifying potential barriers to wildlife movement and can be used for future transportation improvements.”

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About the author

Ashleigh Papp is a science writer based in San Francisco. She has a background in animal science and biology, she enjoys writing about emerging environmental issues, our oceans, and conservation-related science. For ESTUARY, she often covers wildlife. When not reading or writing, she's playing outside with friends or inside with her cat, Sandy.