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How did the animals cross the road? Using these beautiful, innovative wildlife corridors.

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Rocky Mountain Wolf Project

Animals in North America have a problem — they’re having a hard time moving around.

Migration is key for the survival of a lot of species. But in many places, developments like roads, highways, towns, industrial plants, or even entire cities form roadblocks that limit how far animals can move before they encounter humans in a potentially dangerous way. That's bad news on any day, but especially now that temperatures are on the rise. According to a study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, only 41% of natural lands in the United States are connected enough to allow animals to trek safely toward cold enough habitats.

“Wildlife corridors” are areas of protected land where animals can carve an uninterrupted path from one place to another.

Scientists have begun looking for ways to build these "habitat hallways" by protecting and connecting wildlife areas, granting animals safe access to wider swaths of land. In some cases, like that of the Flatland River Valley, that means identifying existing wildlife areas that could easily be connected and moving to protect the land that lies between them.

Flatland River Valley where proposed conservation would protect a critical link in the continent's longest-remaining wildlife corridor. Image courtesy of Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.

In some habitats, conservation has to get creative — and the wildlife corridors that result are pretty cool.

Some wildlife areas are interrupted by just a thin highway, and though it doesn't take up much space, highways present a real danger to animals attempting to cross to safety. In Canada, architects solved that problem with a special landscaped bridge that allows large and small animals to safely cross the road. In Banff National Park, wildlife-vehicle collisions have dropped by more than 80% since these structures were built.

The Banff Overpass in Alberta, Canada. Image via iStock.

Another unusual wildlife corridor is the Bee Highway in Oslo, Norway. Airborne animals don't need continuous swaths of land in order to travel, but they still need places to land, feed, and rest along the way. So the people of Oslo went outside and built bee-friendly gardens and hives to provide the colonies safe passage through the city.

Marie Skjelbred went a step further, constructing a full beehive on the roof of an accounting building in Oslo. Photo by Pierre-Henry Deshayes/AFP/Getty Images.

As manmade wildlife structures are being implemented in the U.S., we're seeing a steep decrease in deaths among wolves, moose, wild cats, bears, and more.

Colorado's Highway 9 used to be a problem location for drivers and animals, reporting over 650 vehicle-wildlife crashes since 2005 in just a 10-mile stretch of road. In 2015, the Department of Transportation built seven animal pathways over and under the highway. Sure enough, there were just two animals hit by cars the following winter — a fraction of the amount from earlier years.

So far, Colorado's Highway 9 wildlife safety project consists of two overpasses, five underpasses, and a handful of widened shoulders and strategically placed border fences. Photo by Josh Richert/Blue Valley Ranch.

Highway 9 happens to cross an area of land that serves as a migration pathway for a variety of wildlife species, which is why it saw so many animal casualties over the years. The protections put in place were designed to allow animals to reach the opposite side without having to cross the actual roadway — but for those that wind up there by mistake, widened shoulders and "escape ramps" provide a route off the road, and fences prevent the animals from wandering back.

A herd of deer exit the highway via a "wildlife escape ramp," which is positioned to allow animals off the road and prevent them from re-entering. Photo by the Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and ECO-Resolutions.

All around the world, wildlife corridors connect habitats and are the key to millions of species’ survival.

From the Terai Arc in India and Nepal...

Image via iStock.

...to the U.S. Highway 93 Wildlife Crossings in Montana...

...to the crab crossings on Christmas Island...

...to the Tsavo East National Park in Kenya.

Photo by Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images.

Animals of every size, shape, and habitat rely on humans to mitigate the damage that our developments have had on them by providing safe crossing to protected lands.

There are dozens of ways to protect and connect wildlife corridors to help animals survive rising temperatures.

Some, like the Bee Highway, are as easy as planting a garden in your community, while others like the Banff Overpass could help protect highway drivers as much as it protects the wildlife around it.

The problem of migration fragmentation is only going to have worse consequences as climate change continues. But we can help. Donate to organizations that help build corridors, like the National Wildlife Federation. Urge your representatives to support the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act. Look for ways to support the wildlife in your area, and plant animal- and insect-friendly gardens that will provide a safe haven for traveling creatures.

It's up to us to make sure that animals are free to roam wherever they must in order to survive.

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Education

School removed a quote from a Holocaust survivor, unintentionally proving his point

"We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim."

Elie Wiesel at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2008.

A school principal in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia, asked the librarian to remove a poster featuring a quote by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel because it violated the district’s “advocacy” policy. This story was first reported by WHYY.

The poster was removed two days before International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“If I didn’t take it down, I knew there would be consequences that could impact me,” Matt Pecic, the school librarian said. “It’s a horrible feeling. And you feel like you have to do something that you don’t agree with.”

The controversial policy says that district employees may not “advocate” to students on “partisan, political, or social policy matters,” or display any “flag, banner, poster, sign, sticker, pin, button, insignia, paraphernalia, photograph, or other similar material that advocates concerning any partisan, political, or social policy issue.”

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Buffy Sainte-Marie shares what led to her openly breastfeeding on 'Sesame Street' in 1977

The way she explained to Big Bird what she was doing is still an all-time great example.

"Sesame Street" taught kids about life in addition to letters and numbers.

In 1977, singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie did something revolutionary: She fed her baby on Sesame Street.

The Indigenous Canadian-Ameican singer-songwriter wasn't doing anything millions of other mothers hadn't done—she was simply feeding her baby. But the fact that she was breastfeeding him was significant since breastfeeding in the United States hit an all-time low in 1971 and was just starting to make a comeback. The fact that she did it openly on a children's television program was even more notable, since "What if children see?" has been a key pearl clutch for people who criticize breastfeeding in public.

But the most remarkable thing about the "Sesame Street" segment was the lovely interchange between Big Bird and Sainte-Marie when he asked her what she was doing.

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Health

This company makes it easier than ever to enjoy guilt-free fairly traded coffee

Thanks to Lifeboost, good coffee can be good for everyone.

Unsplash

Lifeboost coffee

Americans love coffee. Like, we really, seriously, truly love it. According to one recent survey, 75 percent of U.S. adults drink coffee at least occasionally, while 53 percent—about 110 million people—drink it every single day. For some, coffee is an essential part of their morning ritual. For others, it’s something they enjoy when they hit the proverbial wall in the late afternoon. But either way, millions of people use coffee to boost energy, focus, and productivity.


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Pop Culture

Linda Ronstadt's 1970's ballad is a chart-topping hit once again thanks to 'The Last of Us'

The iconic 70s song "Long, Long Time" was an integral part of an unforgettable episode that fans are calling a masterpiece.

Linda Ronstadt (left), Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett (right)

HBO’s emotional third episode of the zombie series “The Last Of Us” became an instant favorite among fans, thanks in no small part to Linda Ronstadt’s late 1970s ballad, “Long, Long Time.”

Using the song as the episode’s title, “Long, Long Time,” moves away from the show’s main plot to instead focus on a heartbreakingly beautiful love story between Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett), from its endearing start all the way to its bittersweet end.

The song makes its first appearance during the initial stages of Bill and Frank’s romance as they play the tune on the piano, just before they share their first kiss.

We see their entire lives together play out—one of closeness, devotion, and savoring homegrown strawberries—until they meet their end. The song then plays on the radio, bringing the bottle episode to a poignant close.

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Joy

34-year-old man is learning to read on TikTok in series of motivational videos

His reading skills have improved so much that he plans to read 100 books this year.

@oliverspeaks1/TikTok

Oliver James is the biggest star on BookTok.

With over 125,000 followers, 34-year-old Oliver James is a star in the BookTok community. And it all started with a very simple goal: Learn to read.

For most kids, school is a place where they can develop a relationship with learning in a safe environment. For James, school was the opposite. Growing up with learning and behavior disabilities subjected him to abusive teaching practices in special education, which, of course, did nothing to help.

"The special education system at the time was more focused on behavioral than educating," he told Good Morning America. "So they spent a lotta time restraining us, a lotta time disciplining us, a lotta times putting us in positions to kinda shape us to just not act out in class."

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