Kentucky built an inspiring piece of infrastructure: a bridge designed to protect endangered species such as the gray bat! Apparently, gray bats cuddle up in the expanded spaces and cracks that classic parallel box bridges develop with age, seeking shelter from wind, rain, and predators. Kentucky’s new bridge design simply includes these spaces from the get go, welcoming bats to use them! The amazing bridge is the result of collaboration between wildlife groups and scientists with local engineers, and is the first of its kind in the state.
This is wonderful, because these little critters need all the protection they can get. Like a growing number of species in the United States, gray bats suffer from climate-change and deforestation-induced habitat loss, habitat degradation, the commercialization of wild spaces like caves, and general human interference. The gray bat has been on the endangered species list for nearly 50 years, and little progress has been made. Simple changes to bridges like this could improve bat populations dramatically! Kentucky has given us the blueprint to use, and states like Tennessee should follow suit.
Let’s ask that the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency collaborate with engineers, architects, and regional planners to build bridges with bat-friendly infrastructure! Sign to save gray bats from extinction!