Sloth Crossings

Sloth Crossing canopy bridges

Without a natural or artificial canopy bridge the only way for a sloth to cross a road is by crawling.

This takes a lot of time and energy and leaves them very vulnerable to traffic collisions, dog attacks and human disturbance.

Sloths maternally inherit highly specific home-ranges and are unable to adapt by moving to a new area when faced with habitat disturbance.

By installing Sloth Crossing wildlife bridges, we aim to restore habitat connectivity and enable sloths and other arboreal wildlife to safely navigate the places we share with them.

Bridging the gap:

  • Collaborating with ICE (the national electric company) to install wildlife bridges across roads.
  • Collaborating with local property owners (as part of the Connected Gardens Project) to install rope bridges for wildlife on private properties.

Thanks to the coordinated efforts of our generous donors, concerned community members and the SloCo team, many species are now able to safely navigate the habitat that we share with them.

Our most-used Sloth Crossing design consists of a single rope secured between two trees.  Depending on the circumstances or for larger gaps, we will opt for a sturdier design.

Installing a double rope bridge (in which one rope is installed above the other) provides additional stability to species with prehensile tails, such as spider monkeys, as they can use their tails to grip onto the rope above while crossing on the lower rope.

When there is a lack of suitable trees and/or the road is particularly wide, constructing support posts and suspending horizontal mesh walkways for wildlife are often the best option.

Over 11 arboreal species in Costa Rica have been observed using this simple and effective design.

After the bridge has been installed, we follow up with property owners and install camera traps in order to determine which species are using the bridges. These special wildlife cameras are programmed to start recording video whenever the sensors detect heat or movement.

By using camera traps like this it enables biologists and conservationists to easily collect ecological data and photographic evidence of elusive and often critically endangered species at little cost and with minimal disturbance.

By remotely monitoring wildlife in this way it can allow us to spy on some of the rarest events in nature – events that just wouldn’t happen if there were any humans around.

This map shows all of the places that we have installed Sloth Crossing wildlife bridges (blue) and planted trees through our reforestation efforts (green) since March 2019.

SPONSOR A SLOTH CROSSING

“I’m not sure there is another example of a conservation effort with such instant gratification!"

” My background is wildlife biology, environmental law/policy, and animal welfare.  In my 20+ years working in those fields, I have never seen such a simple, yet effective way to immediately mitigate habitat loss. Kudos to all involved!” -Michelle Land, New York

Each “Sloth Crossing” wildlife bridge costs $200 in raw materials to construct (our single rope design without a camera trap). If you would like to help us by personally sponsoring your own Sloth Crossing, you can do so using the form below. 

If you sponsor a Sloth Crossing then we will install a personalized wooden plaque next to the bridge engraved with a name of your choice (this would make a fantastic gift for any sloth lover)!

With your bridge sponsorship, we will email an information pack as well as photos and the GPS location of the finished bridge and plaque after installation. We will also notify you when wildlife start using your sponsored bridge!