NJ habitat-connecting program helps animals cross the road
A new program that seeks to make New Jersey's landscape more friendly for wildlife in the state is up and running.
Connecting Habitats Across New Jersey — or CHANJ, which is pronounced "change" — is aimed at helping creatures such as bobcats, salamanders and northern diamond terrapins.
"These are species whose populations are low and declining and are in great need of conservation," state Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Caryn Shinske said.
She says New Jersey's wildlife lands are fragmented because of development and our dense population.
"Because of that, the connectedness of habitats is not what it should be. And when these species do not have safe places to cross through ...t hey can be hit by cars, they could be injured ."
Shinske says one part of the program constructs tunnels for wildlife to cross the road.
"These wildlife tunnels already are helping animals such as turtles and salamanders cross roadways in areas where they were once subject to frequent instances of being hit by vehicles," she said.