This is a huge success in a project whose main goal is to protect this rare and declining species.
On May 17, 2021, a phototrap installed in the tunnel of the lower passage for small vertebrate animals under national road No. 16 in Masuria recorded the moment of use of the tunnel by a mud turtle (Emys orbicularis)!
This is a huge success in a project whose main goal is to protect this rare and declining species. It is also the first case in Europe where the use of a mud turtle crossing has been documented. Many doubts about the technical aspects of the construction of the passages, their location, size have been dispelled, and the experience gained should be disseminated as widely as possible.
The population of mud turtle in Poland is small. In Masuria, there is one of the larger populations in north-eastern Poland. However, the loss of up to one individual in collisions with vehicles on the road is a serious injury to the population as a whole. That is why it is so important to give moving animals the opportunity to cross the road safely.