A few large roads or many small ones? How to accommodate growth in vehicle numbers to minimise impacts on wildlife

Rhodes, Jonathan R., Lunney, Daniel, Callaghan, John and McAlpine, Clive A. (2014) A few large roads or many small ones? How to accommodate growth in vehicle numbers to minimise impacts on wildlife. PLoS One, 9 3: 1-10. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091093


Author Rhodes, Jonathan R.
Lunney, Daniel
Callaghan, John
McAlpine, Clive A.
Title A few large roads or many small ones? How to accommodate growth in vehicle numbers to minimise impacts on wildlife
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2014-03-19
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0091093
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 9
Issue 3
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Place of publication San Francisco CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Roads and vehicular traffic are among the most pervasive of threats to biodiversity because they fragmenting habitat, increasing mortality and opening up new areas for the exploitation of natural resources. However, the number of vehicles on roads is increasing rapidly and this is likely to continue into the future, putting increased pressure on wildlife populations. Consequently, a major challenge is the planning of road networks to accommodate increased numbers of vehicles, while minimising impacts on wildlife. Nonetheless, we currently have few principles for guiding decisions on road network planning to reduce impacts on wildlife in real landscapes. We addressed this issue by developing an approach for quantifying the impact on wildlife mortality of two alternative mechanisms for accommodating growth in vehicle numbers: (1) increasing the number of roads, and (2) increasing traffic volumes on existing roads. We applied this approach to a koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) population in eastern Australia and quantified the relative impact of each strategy on mortality. We show that, in most cases, accommodating growth in traffic through increases in volumes on existing roads has a lower impact than building new roads. An exception is where the existing road network has very low road density, but very high traffic volumes on each road. These findings have important implications for how we design road networks to reduce their impacts on biodiversity.
Keyword New South Wales
Of fit tests
Home range
Phascolarctos cinereus
Koala conservation
Port Stephens
Mortality
Populations
Queensland
Model
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2015 Collection
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 12 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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