This bobcat was caught in a series of photos on a game camera set up under a bridge in Brandon, Vt. recently. The cameras are part of a partnership among Vermont Fish & Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy, and VTrans to better understand wildlife movement around road crossing structures.
“This bobcat passing under the road highlights the fact that wildlife are always on the move,” said John Austin, Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s lands and habitat program manager. “They need to travel across the landscape to find food or water, to search for mates, or to find places to den or raise their young. Maintaining healthy and connected habitats is one of the most important things we can do to help wildlife continue to thrive in Vermont.”
Information from this collaboration has allowed VTrans to modify the design of bridges, culverts and overpasses to permit improved movement of fish and wildlife, while also making these crossings safer for drivers on the road. These changes also often help these structures to become more resilient to flooding events.
Austin said cameras have captured thousands of photos of wildlife safely moving from one side of the road to the other, including moose, bear and deer. “But rarely do we get such a fascinating glimpse into the behavior of an animal as it’s passing in front of the camera,” said Austin.