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Concord Wildlife and Life Under Route 2

Nancy Reilly is an animal tracker who lives in Concord Massachusetts.  Nancy talks with Rob of her experiences and observations of the fisher and porcupine, mink, otter, gray fox, and black bear living in Concord.

Nancy is one of a number of trackers whose research has informed the building of underpasses beneath Route 2.  This highway travels northwest from Cambridge, Massachusetts. It bends Southwest, nearly perpendicular, off of the Cambridge Turnpike to avoid Concord Center.  A thousand feet from the curve in the road, the highway crosses Mill Brook.

Many animal tracks and some road kills gave testimony where animals wish to cross the road.  The state responded by building four underpasses.  They are different sizes to accommodate different sized animals.  One underpass near the river is quite small. It is designed for and is being used by salamanders, painted turtles and larger snapping turtles.  There is an underpass for mid-sized animals, beavers and smaller, and an underpass for large animals, fox, coyote, turkey, deer and bear.

Nancy notes that it’s better for the animals if people don’t use the underpasses. Not only will people tracks disturb records of animal usages, people use will discourage wild animals from crossing beneath, and wild animal encounters might become a bigger concern for people.  There have yet to be any bear tracks found. This may be only a matter of time or serendipity.  Best to leave animal underpasses to the animals and to enjoy the tell-tale tracks of Concord’s mammals print by print in their natural habitats.