Fact Sheet

Wildlife Corridors & Crossings



NCEL Point of Contact

Logan Christian
Wildlife and Habitat Coordinator



Wildlife corridors and crossings are a vital and cost effective way to maintain resilient landscapes for fish and wildlife. Crossings can be in the form of highway overpasses, underpasses, or culverts, which provide safe crossings and genetic dispersal for plants and animals. Corridors are large areas of undeveloped habitat that connect critical core habitats, allowing for animal movement and healthy genetic dispersal. Many state legislatures and agencies have championed corridors and crossings, with a recent increase in activity following several new federal funding opportunities. These include the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act, which allocates billions of dollars for wildlife crossing infrastructure, and the America the Beautiful Challenge, a new 5-year $116 million competitive grant program which supports a range of conservation projects and includes habitat connectivity as a core tenet.

Key Points

Key Point 1

Wildlife corridors are essential to promoting ecosystem biodiversity and preventing species extinctions. (Science)

Key Point 2

Many plant and animal species are relocating due to changes in temperature, water cycles, and seasons, yet habitat loss is accelerating across the U.S., creating bottlenecks for animals. (US Environmental Protection Agency)

Key Point 3

Every year there are between 1 and 2 million wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs) causing hundreds of deaths and costing over $8 billion. Wildlife crossings generally pay for themselves quickly in costs saved for emergency and medical assistance, property damage, and value of animals lost. (US Department of Transportation)

Policy Options

  • Study wildlife corridors and crossings:
    • Create a Wildlife Corridor Action Plan identifying corridors and a list of locations needing crossings. NM SB 228 (2019), OR HB 2384 (2019), VA SB 1004 (2020) 
    • Require the state transportation agency to annually publish wildlife-vehicle collision data. VA HB 975 (2022)
  • Build capacity for planning and implementing wildlife crossings:
    • Provide funding for a coalition of NGOs and agencies. CO SB 23-151 (2022)
    • Allow state wildlife and transportation agencies to coordinate on mitigating wildlife barriers for new transportation projects. CA AB 2344 (2022)
  • Provide funding for wildlife corridors and crossings:
    • Create a dedicated fund for wildlife crossings. CO SB 23-151 (2022), NM SB 72 (2023)
    • Authorize expenditures from an income account for wildlife crossings. WY SF 106 (2023)
    • Appropriate funding for wildlife crossing projects. UT SB 3 (2023), WA SB 5689 (2022) 
  • Protect and reconnect wildlife habitat:
    • Introduce memorials to support restoration of critical habitat. AZ SM 1001 (2021), NM SM 10 (2021)
    • Acquire and protect lands that complete a wildlife corridor. FL HB 7047 (2023)


NCEL Resources

Online Resources

Wildlands Network: State legislation supporting habitat connectivity (2022)

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Center for Large Landscape Conservation: A Strategic Framework for Policy and Action (2010)

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ARC Solutions: Wildlife Infrastructure Funding Opportunities within the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act

Note: Supplementary resources are linked in program titles

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PEW: Funding for Wildlife Crossing Infrastructure: An Evaluation of Revenue and Funding Mechanisms

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New Mexico Department of Transportation: New Mexico Wildlife Corridor Action Plan (2022)

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