Discovering a secret passageway for urban wildlife

This summer, our team visited several projects of the Biopolis platform that are involved in urban habitat conservation. One of these projects is the wildlife crossing installed beneath Maurice-Duplessis Boulevard, of which the extension works were completed in 2016. We were accompanied by Joëlle Roy Lefrançois, member of the Biopolis Advisory Committee, and project bioneers Sylvie Comtois and Denis Fournier.

The wildlife crossing was put in place in order to insure connectivity within a habitat rich in biodiversity in the context of extending an important urban roadway. This project is located at the heat of a conservation zone that encompasses a portion of the ruisseau Pinel and that constitutes an important ecological corridor associated with the écoterritoire de la trame verte de l’Est.

The crossing consists of a concrete tunnel that not only allows the ruisseau Pinel to flow across the roadway, but that also includes a dry passageway that allows safe displacements for small mammals, reptiles and amphibians from one side of the road to the other.

The new structure has proven its worth with the help of infrared cameras placed inside the passageway: images of an astonishing number of animal species were captured during their crossing, including the Eastern Milksnake, a species at risk.

During our visit, many animal species of interest were detected in the conservation zone, such as Green Frog, Brown Snake and American Kestrel. A Black-billed Cuckoo, an uncommon discrete bird, was also heard that day.

Our bioneers also showed us a snake hibernaculum installed near the wildlife crossing. This large artificial structure includes an underground portion that offers a safe place for snakes to spend the winter.

Hibernacle à couleuvres

Snake hibernaculum installed in the conservation zone.

This project demonstrates that urban development car brilliantly integrate essential measures to preserve and protect our rich biodiversity.

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