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Roads and Habitat Disturbances


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Roads and Habitat Disturbances

  1. 1. Roads and Habitat Disturbances ( Liz Cohan Carroll Courtenay Ethan Strickler
  2. 2. Sikhote-Alin State Biosphere Zapovednik (
  3. 3. Figure 2: Time span adult tigerswere monitored within each areato measure survivorship (Kerley, 2002: 100)
  4. 4. Conclusion• Data supports the hypothesis that the risk of adult female mortality increases for tigers near primary roads• Impact of roads – Logging – Poachers – Vehicle collision – Accidental encounters – Reduced tiger prey abundance• Population source vs sink• Suggestions • prevent road construction, close unnecessary roads, regulate road access Image from: 1c630a53ef0120a6bc1a81970b-600wi
  5. 5. • Only 3,000 tigers left in the wild • 400 of those are Amur tigersImage from: National Geographic
  6. 6. Image from:
  7. 7. Image from:
  8. 8. Conservation Efforts• Wildlife Conservation Society• Siberian Tiger Project• Recognize the threat of roads on Amur tiger populations• From 1992 to 2000, WCS found that in areas of no roads, there is a 100% survivorship for adult tigers versus 55% in areas with primary roads
  9. 9. Roads Impacts on Other Large Carnivores (Kerley, 2002: 104)
  10. 10. Discussion Questions• How does this study represent the difficultly of studying effects of roads in remote areas?• Is it possible to study tigers or other wildlife in their natural habitat without any disturbances?• What are some ways the reserve can increase tiger conservation and better regulate road access?
  11. 11. Florida Panther: Case Study (
  12. 12. Florida Panther’s Current Range I-75 Corridor “Alligator Alley” ( 75_(FL)_map.svg/290px-I-75_(FL)_map.svg.png)
  13. 13. Florida Panthers and Roads• Vehicle collisions account for 49% of Florida panthers deaths (Foster and Humphrey, 1995)• Roads act as a barrier for most female panthers (Kerley et al., 2002) ( crossing.jpg) ( aily%20Kos/UCFP141_4-19-10_FWC_MAL_02_t300.jpg) ( )
  14. 14. Florida Panthers and Roads • Habitat loss and fragmentation (Kerley et al., 2002; Foster & Humphrey, 1995) • Human-panther conflicts • Private property (Foster &( Humphrey, 1995) • Hunting/prey availability (Kerley et al., 2002)(,%20Fl ( 6NS-LS-DeadDonkey05_t607.jpg)
  15. 15. Under- and Overpasses• Relatively new way to maintain habitat connectivity (Foster & Humphrey, 1995)• 2 concrete bridges under a 4-lane highway (Foster & Humphrey, 1995) – Unobstructed view of habitat on other side (
  16. 16. I-75 Underpass (
  17. 17. Florida Wildlife Corridor “The Florida Wildlife Corridor project is a collaborative vision to connect remaining natural lands, waters, working farms, and ranches from the Everglades to Georgia, protecting a functional ecological corridor for the health of people, wildlife, and watershed” (Florida Wildlife Corridor, 2012)(
  18. 18. My Project( ( ( rough_the_Amazon.jpg) 1/Collared_Peccary_crossing_the_road.jpg) • Complexity and uniqueness of tropical rainforest ecosystems make them especially sensitive to habitat fragmentation • Possibility of wildlife under- and overpasses as effective habitat connections in tropical rainforests – Future habitat corridors and green infrastructure or conservation networks • Case studies
  19. 19. Discussion Questions• What ecological characteristics might be important in determining proper wildlife over- and underpass placement, construction, and target species?• Do you think wildlife over- and underpasses are an effective way to maintain habitat connectivity?• In the current financial downturn, do you think states (or other localities) will be able to justify the costs associated with wildlife under- and overpass construction? What might be some other options?
  20. 20. Roads and Habitat Alteration (Ecological) – Invasive Species Example Parendes & Jones. 2000.
  21. 21. Invasive cont. “Interactions among road and stream networks involving floods and debris flows help transport seeds of invasive species across environmental barriers in many landscape settings.” What are some invasive species we deal with here in the Eastern United States? Where do these species seem to establish themselves?
  22. 22. HJ Andrews Experimental Forest and Roads – Habitat Alteration (Physical)
  23. 23. Physical Alterations cont.• The hydrologic cycle – surface runoff, evapo- transpiration, erosion, sediment transport• In what ways do roads alter the hydrologic cycle?• Edge Effects – road corridors create diverse microhabitats for plants and animals• Changes in light, temperature, and soil moisture• Comparison between 5 m and 50 m into forest• Ecological Succession
  24. 24. Discussion Questions• What are some of the obvious physical consequences of road building on the physical environment? How do these consequences change between habitat types (Forests? Mountainous terrain? Wetlands?)• In Road Ecology: Science and Solutions the conceptual foundations of road ecology are stated as water and water flows, followed by microclimate, wind, and atmospheric effects; vegetation and biodiversity; populations and wildlife; and landscape ecology and habitat fragmentation. In your opinion, which of these conceptual foundations should be the focus of efforts to mitigate the environmental impacts of roads? How does your opinion change when comparing Amazonia versus other habitats and landscapes?
  25. 25. Impacts of roads on aquatic habitats and wetlands Trombulak & Frissell. 2000
  26. 26. Bibliography• Florida Wildlife Corridor. (2012). The Wild Foundation. Retrieved from:• Forman et al. 2003. Road Ecology: Science and Solutions. Island Press: Washington D.C., USA. pg. 3-99• Foster, M. L. & Humphrey, S. R. (1995). Use of highway underpasses by Florida panthers and other wildlife. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 23(1): 95-100.• Jensen, D., Sherwood, K., & Flemming, L. (2010). The I-75 project: lessons from the Florida panther. Safe Passages. Island Press: US, 205-222.• Jones, J. A., Swanson, F. J., Wemple, B. C., & Snyder, K. U. (2000). Effects of roads on hydrology, geomorphology, and disturbance patches in stream networks. Conservation Biology. 14(1): 76-85.• Kerely, L. L., Goodrich, J. M., Miquelle, D. G., Smirnov, E. N., Quigley, H. B., & Hornocker, M. G. (2002). Effects of roads and human distrubance on Amur tigers. Conservation Biology. 16(1): 97-106.• Parendes, L. A. & Jones, J. A. (2000). Role of light availability and dispersal in exotic plant invasion along roads and streams in the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest, Oregon, Conservation Biology. 14(1): 64-75.• Trombulak, S. C. and Frissell, C. A. (2000), Review of Ecological Effects of Roads on Terrestrial and Aquatic Communities. Conservation Biology, 14: 18–30• Watterson, N. A. & Jones, J. A. (2006). Flood and debris flow interactions with roads promote the invasion of exotic plants along steep mountain streams, western Oregon. Geomorphology. 78: 107-123.• Wildlife Conservation Society: Russia. (2011). The amur tiger: conservation threats. Wildlife Conservation Society. Retrieved from: