Wild animals pass motorway more safely in the Land of the Leopard
This means that the first in Russia wildlife crossing fulfills its mission successfully.
Since 2007, WWF Russia actively negotiated about the nature protection component in the Razdolnoye-Khasan motorway reconstruction.The problem was that the construction of the highway, necessary for the economic development of the southern Primorye, threatened to fragment the habitats of the Amur leopard numbering back then only 30-35 individuals. The highway cut the range of this rare animal splitting the tiny population into two parts. There wild animals seriously risked their lives when crossing the road.
“Fragmentation of the home range is one of the most serious threats to the last population of the Amur leopard.In 2007, based on WWF’s recommendation, the “Primavtodor” road construction company built three underground passages for wild animals on a pilot basis. WWF Russia prepared proposals for the construction of a tunnel under the Narvinsky mountain pass and bridges-overpasses on another three mountain passes. Nobody believed these plans can come true, however, thanks to the personal support of Sergei Ivanov and Yury Trutnev, the Narvinsky overpass became the first one for tigers and leopards on this busy motorway. It means that the leopards have chances to have their interests met in the course of infrastructure development of the southwestern Primorye which is an important part of the China Silk,” notes Yury Darman, Ph.D., honorable ecologist of Russia, senior adviser at WWF-Russia Amur Branch.
Narvinsky mountain pass was one of the key sites the road builders paid attention to thanks to the efforts of local ecologists. Right away, rare cats as well as other wild animals easily cross the motorway.