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Md. Study Finds Critters Choose Culverts With Care

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — University of Maryland scientists are reporting that a surprising number of wildlife species use drainage culverts to cross beneath roadways.

 

And some of them are choosy about the type of tunnels they prefer.

 

Ecologist J. Edward Gates of the Center for Environmental Science oversaw the project from the center’s Appalachian Laboratory in Frostburg. He said Friday that researchers documented 57 species using culverts in a statewide study commissioned by the State Highway Administration.

 

Some critters are quite particular. The study found that raccoons will use any kind of tunnel but deer avoid those with cobbled floors. And Eastern gray squirrels don’t seem to like arch-shaped passages.

The highway administration says the study will help it design highways that are safer for people and animals.

 

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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