Eco Bridges In India - Wildlife Crossings

Eco Bridges in India – Uttrakhand’s first eco bridge is built in the Ramnagar Forest Division across Kaladhungi – Nainital highway. The bridge is an attempt to save reptiles and small animals from accidents while crossing the road. 

The article aims to share the relevant facts related to Eco Bridges which will help candidates for the general awareness section of various Government exams.

Aspirants of IAS exam might encounter questions related to Eco Bridges under prelims and General Studies Paper 3 of UPSC.

Wish to ace the competitive exams in the first attempt? Get assistance for comprehensive preparation from the following links-

What are Eco Bridges?

  1. Eco Bridges are wildlife corridors also known as wildlife crossings that are a link of wildlife habitat which connects two larger areas of similar wildlife habitat.
  2. Eco Bridges aims at enhancing wildlife connectivity. It connects wildlife populations that would otherwise be separated by human activities or structures such as roads and highways, other infrastructure development, or logging and farming, etc. 
  3. These are made up of native vegetation i.e. it is overlaid with planting from the area to give a contiguous look with the landscape.
  4. Eco-bridges include underpass tunnels, viaducts, and overpasses (mainly for large or herd-type animals); amphibian tunnels; fish ladders; Canopy bridge (especially for monkeys and squirrels), tunnels and culverts (for small mammals such as otters, hedgehogs, and badgers); green roofs (for butterflies and birds).
  5. The two main aspects considered in building the eco bridges are size and location. These bridges should be built based on the animals’ movement pattern.
Eco – Bridge in Uttrakhand

  1. On the Kaladhungi-Nainital Highway, Uttrakhand, Chandra Sekhar Joshi, Ramnagar Divisional Forest Officer, supervised the building of the new eco-bridge.
  2. The 90-feet-long and 5-feet-wide eco bridge is Uttarakhand’s first wildlife corridor.
  3. It is a special path created by the state forest department for reptiles and other small animals to safely pass from one side of the road to the other.
  4. No cement or iron was used in the construction of the bridge, it is made from bamboo, jute and grass, and is the first of its kind.
  5. The bridge is constructed in the red soil area of Kaladhungi Nainital Road and the project was completed within 10 days.

Aspirants preparing for different competitive exams can go through related links for assistance in their preparation-

National Parks in India Green India Mission Biodiversity Hotspots in India
List of Elephant reserves in India Biosphere reserves in India Environmental Impact Assessment 
SECURE Himalaya Project  National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem National Mission for Sustainable Habitat (NMSH)

India’s First Eco Bridge – Wildlife Crossings

The table below highlights the list of Eco Bridges in India – 

  1. India’s First Eco Bridge in Telangana state for Tiger Movement – the tiger corridor linking the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra with the forests in Telangana’s Kumram Bheem Asifabad district.
  2. Uttrakhand Eco Bridge for small animals and reptiles.

Important International Eco Bridges or Wildlife Crossings

  1. Wildlife crossings in Banff National Park in Alberta.
  2. Twenty-four wildlife crossings in Collier and Lee counties in Florida.
  3. The Netherlands has over 66 wildlife crossings (overpasses and eco-ducts) that have been used to protect the endangered European badger.
  4. Canopy Bridge in Anamalai Tiger Reserve to lower the numbers of lion-tailed macaques killed in the region.

Eco Bridges – Need for Wild Life Corridor

  1. Roadkill is one of the biggest problems faced by Indian wildlife, especially in areas where highways or railroads pass through forests.
  2. According to the Wildlife Institute of India, around 50,000 kilometres of road projects have been constructed in India in five to six years. Several highways have been upgraded to four lanes. For all these constructions, major animal corridors are cut thereby disrupting the natural cohabitation of animals. 
  3. The National Tiger Conservation Authority had identified three major sites that were cutting across animal corridors. These including National Highway 37 through the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong landscape in Assam, and State Highway 33 through the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve in Karnataka.
  4. Wildlife corridors or Eco Bridges play a very important role in maintaining connections between animal and plant populations that would otherwise be isolated and therefore at greater risk of local extinction. Therefore, it is essential to build these animal pathways, corridors or eco bridges to preserve the ecosystem necessary for the animals.

Also, go through the list of Longest Bridges in India on the linked page. 

Significance of Eco Bridges in the Management of Biodiversity

  • With wildlife crossing the expressway from one nature reserve to another, the chances of pollination and dispersion of rare native plants could greatly increase.
  • To prevent genetic isolation of fragmented flora and fauna populations, the bridge would encourage the interaction of wildlife by facilitating movement between the once separated forests and effectively expand habitat, mating and foraging ranges of flora and fauna.
  • Providing crossing infrastructure at key points along transportation corridors is known to improve safety, reconnect habitats and restore wildlife movement.
  • Eco-bridges would also bring about greater interaction between individuals leading to a healthy exchange of genetic materials, thereby reducing the occurrence of inbreeding and increasing the long-term survival of our native species.

Aspirants preparing for any government exams can visit the link provided to prepare even better for the examination-

  1. Free Online Quiz for Government Exams
  2. Government Exams Free Mock Test Series
  3. Government Exam Previous Year Question Papers with Solution PDFs

Other Projects- Eco Bridges in India

  1. One of the largest underpasses – 1.4km – for animal conservation in India is being built along the Madhya Pradesh-Maharashtra border, 
  2. Other proposals include the Chennai-Bangalore National Highway, in the  Hosur – Krishnagiri segment, near reserve forests for elephant crossings, and in the Tadoba – Andhari Tiger Reserve in Chandrapur, Maharashtra.

Other Related Links

Tiger Conservation in India IUCN RED List National Tiger Conservation Authority
Third National Wildlife Action Plan Project Tiger Global Tiger Forum

Aspirants preparing for the UPSC exam can check the links given below –

  1. IAS 2022
  2. UPSC Calendar 2022
  3. UPSC Syllabus
  4. Analysis of the Press Information Bureau
  5. UPSC Environment and Ecology Books
  6. Environment and Ecology Notes For UPSC Civil Service Exam
  7. Previous Years Environment & Ecology Questions in UPSC Mains General Studies Paper – 3

You can also check out the preparation strategies for competitive exams to fine-tune your exam prep. 

UPSC 2022


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