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Handbook of Road Ecology

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Clara Grilo
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Global road length, number of vehicles and rate of per capita travel are high and predicted to increase significantly over the next few decades.2The ‘road-effect zone’ is a useful conceptual framework to quantify the negative ecological and environmental impacts of roads and traffic.3The effects of roads and traffic on wildlife are numerous, varied and typically deleterious.4The density and configuration of road networks are important considerations in road planning.5The costs to society of wildlife-vehicle collisions can be high.6The strategies of avoidance, minimisation, mitigation and offsetting are increasingly being adopted around the world – but it must be recognised that some impacts are unavoidable and unmitigable.7Road ecology is an applied science which underpins the quantification and mitigation of road impacts.
Clara Grilo
added 4 research items
Conservation at the cross-roads: how roads and other linear infrastructure influence conservation symposium at the International Congress of Conservation Biology and the European Congress of Conservation Biology 6th August 2015.
Carnivores are a diverse group of wildlife that occur in most environments around the world. Large, wide‐ ranging carnivores play key ecological roles in natural systems. They regulate population sizes of herbivores and other small‐ and medium‐sized carnivores that in turn affect the growth, structure and composition of plant communities and habitats and the health of the small‐animal populations that live in these habitats. Carnivores are particularly susceptible to the impacts of roads because many species require large areas to sustain their populations, have low reproductive output and occur in low densities. 35.1 Carnivores with large home ranges, long dispersal distances or inability to tolerate human disturbance are particularly vulnerable to the effects of roads and traffic. 35.2 Threats from roads and traffic such as wildlife-vehicle collisions barriers to movement, habitat disturbance and road avoidance jeopardise the persistence of certain carnivore populations. 35.3 Road and landscape‐related features influence behavioural responses of carnivores to roads, mortality risk and barrier effects. 35.4 Different types of crossing structures are needed to increase habitat connectivity for the wide diversity of carnivore species. 35.5 Fencing, when paired with crossing structures, is critical to reducing the negative effects of roads on carnivores. Carnivores: Struggling for survival in roaded landscapes 301 INTRODUCTION
Roads and traffic are typically more of a threat to the conservation of birds rather than a safety issue for motorists. Some bird species have biological features and life history traits that make them particularly vulnerable to habitat loss from roads and mortality due to wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVC). Road planning that proactively considers the biological needs of birds will help avoid project delays and extra costs for mitiga-tion, as well as achieve positive outcomes for birds. Several strategies effectively avoid or mitigate the negative effects of roads on birds. 33.1 Roads can adversely affect birds despite the common assumption that birds avoid mortality and barrier effects because they can fly. 33.2 Wildlife-vehicle collisions kill millions of birds annually. 33.3 Planning the timing and location of road construction and maintenance is crucial for the survival and conservation of birds. 33.4 Flight diverters may reduce the likelihood of vehicle collisions with birds. 33.5 Wildlife crossing structures can decrease the barrier effect. 33.6 Structural changes along roads can reduce noise impacts. 33.7 Roadsides should be managed to make them less attractive to birds. Implementing design features that separate birds from traffic, reducing resources that attract birds to the roadway and minimising disruptive light and noise emanating from the roadway are the main mitiga-tion measures for birds. However, more research is needed to quantify the various effects of roads and the cumulative effect of road networks on birds and, perhaps more critically, to explore ways to prioritise and effectively mitigate the most negative impacts.