Faculty in the News In the News

April 2, 2020 at 11:05 am

Athens News Covers Kuchta Research on Route 33 Amphibian Crossings

Shawn Kuchta, portrait

Dr. Shawn Kuchta

The Athens News writes about amphibian research by Dr. Shawn Kuchta along the Route 33 bypass in a story headlined “Bypass, despite avoidance steps, killing lots of little critters.”

Kuchta is Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Ohio University.

Two Rt. 78 tunnels were built to minimize amphibian roadway mortality and provide a means for the animals to move from one habitat area to another. But the OU study, using cameras and roadside body counts, indicated the structures were not functioning as well as planned.

Led by Charlene Hopkins, Kristine Harman and Shawn R. Kuchta, the OU team went back to the drawing board, redesigning the tunnels to make them bigger and better. ODOT used the new design to build five of the structures, and they were then tested in 2017 and 2018.

The alternative eco-passage systems were what one might call more user-friendly. They were wider, taller, more open and had a natural soil bottom.

Read more in the Athens News.

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