Joint Effort By TTI, Texas A&M AgriLife Helps To Protect Endangered Species From Road Projects


The agencies are testing three different fence designs created to keep protected species like the Houston toad and Louisiana pine snake out of construction zones.

Unintended encounters with cars and trucks are nearly always bad news for animals. But not only do creatures face dangers on existing roads, they’re often imperiled from the moment that road construction begins.

Animals of all types and sizes need to move about their habitats to forage, breed and simply exist, and that movement can sometimes involve crossing over or through a road project at any stage of completion. And if those critters hold protected status under the federal Endangered Species Act, their presence can automatically cause construction delays and increased project costs.

Operating agencies and contractors use exclusion fences to prevent those intrusions. Testing the efficacy of three toad exclusion fence (TEF) alternatives is the focus of a joint research effort involving Texas A&M AgriLife and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI). Two of the fences are from private-sector manufacturers, and the third was designed by the Texas Department of Transportation, which is funding the research.

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