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Free Content Conservation Value of Wildlife Crossings: Measures of Performance and Research Directions

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In the last ten years, there has been a surge of interest in the ecological effects of roads on landscape ecology and in devising means of reducing road impacts on wildlife populations. The number of wildlife crossings built in North America and worldwide has increased during the last decade and their design and performance as mitigation measures has received considerable attention. In this paper I will discuss current approaches to restoring connectivity across roads with wildlife crossing structures. Once in place, wildlife crossings must be monitored and evaluated to determine their conservation value and ecological performance. I discuss some guiding principles for planning and measuring performance of mitigation crossings for wildlife that consider a range of ecological goals, time-frames, and changes in landscape conditions. Last, cost-effective designs and integrated planning are seen as important areas to make significant advances in designing sustainable transport systems.

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Keywords: ECOLOGICAL NETWORK; HABITAT FRAGMENTATION; INTEGRATED PLANNING; LANDSCAPE CONTEXT; MITIGATION MEASURES; MONITORING; ROAD ECOLOGY; WILDLIFE CROSSINGS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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