"Through evolution, animals have developed an array of defenses to help protect against predators. Porcupines use quills to fend off attackers; turtles hide under protective shells; skunks spray their enemies. But what happens when the "predator" is an automobile?
"All of those strategies — a skunk spray or a porcupine's quills or a turtle shell — those worked for thousands of generations against coyotes and foxes and hawks and other more natural predators," environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb says. "But against an F-250 barreling down I-90, they're not only useless, they're actually maladaptive. Standing your ground and hunkering down is the worst possible thing you can do."
In his new book, Crossings: How Road Ecology is Shaping the Future of Our Planet, Goldfarb explains how roads and cars are changing the lives of wildlife all over the world — and how roadkill has created a "crisis for biodiversity."
"For species like ocelots and Florida panthers and tiger salamanders, roadkill is a true existential threat," he says. "Roadkill is not only eliminating animals, it's in many cases eliminating those healthy animals that populations need to remain strong.""