Flanders’ oldest wildlife crossing helps more than 200 species

Summary

An ecoduct in Flemish Brabant has helped more than 200 species safely cross the road since it was set up 10 years ago

Safe passage

More than 200 animal species are using the De Warande ecoduct in Bierbeek, Flemish Brabant, which at 10 years old is the oldest of Flanders’ six ecoducts. An ecoduct is a wildlife crossing in the form of a viaduct in which the upper layer is reserved to let animals cross a road safely.

The De Warande crossing (pictured) connects the Meerdal forest with the Mollendaal forest, over the N25 highway.

In the past decade, more than 200 animal species have been spotted on the ecoduct. The best-known are badgers, stone-martens, squirrels, deer, boars, forest polecats and foxes. But the crossing has also helped seven species of bat, 51 species of ground beetles and hundreds of spider species. Several of the beetles and spiders spotted on the ecoduct are under threat of  extinction in Flanders.

After the De Warande crossing was built, five others followed: De Munt in Loenhout, Kempengrens in Postel and Peerdsbos in Brasschaat/Schoten (all Antwerp province), and Kikbeek in Opgrimbie and the Nationaal Park Hoge Kempen, both in Limburg.

Over the years, a lot of amphibian tunnels and tree bridges have been built in Flanders. An overview of the Flemish initiatives to help animals cross roads safely, can be found here.

Photo courtesy Wegenennatuur.be