ROADS, ROADSIDES AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION: A REVIEW

Roads are transport corridors imposed on the environment by humans for the movement of people and materials. Road systems are extensive in length and in the area that they occupy, and they extend pervasively throughout most terrestrial landscapes and habitats. A review of published literature reveals five major impacts of road systems on wildlife: (i) Road reserves provide habitat for wildlife. Roadside vegetation has greatest value as a wildlife habitat when it comprises remnant or regenerated strips of indigenous vegetation. (ii) Roads, roadside habitats and the aerial space above roads can facilitate the movement of animals along the direction of the road reserve. (iii) Road reserves can act as a filter or barrier to the movements of wildlife through the landscape, thus dividing and isolating populations to varying extents. (iv) Roads are a source of mortality for wildlife. For some species, particularly those that are large, rare, or are regularly brought into contact with busy roads (e.g., migration pathways), road- kills can have a significant effect on conservation status. (v) Road systems are a source of biotic and abiotic effects on the surrounding landscape. The extensive area occupied by road systems and the ecological impact of roads on wildlife means that they are too important to be neglected in conservation planning. Wildlife conservation must receive thorough consideration in the planning, construction and on- going management of road systems. The reserved status of roads, their geographical extent and continuity, and their network structure provide valuable opportunities for retaining and expanding wildlife habitat in disturbed environments, and for restoring or enhancing continuity to natural elements in the landscape. However, wildlife managers and managers of road systems must investigate further and implement practical measures to reduce the isolating effects of roads that bisect natural environments, to minimize the mortality of animals on roads and to limit disturbance to the surrounding environment. For the covering entry of the conference, see IRRD abstract no. 843352.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    SURREY BEATTY

    43 RICKARD ROAD
    CHIPPING NORTON, NEW SOUTH WALES  Australia  2170
  • Authors:
    • BENNETT, A F
  • Publication Date: 1991

Language

  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00631119
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB Group Limited
  • ISBN: 0-949324-35-3
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jul 1 1993 12:00AM