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It is widely recognized that roads cause direct mortality and limit animal movement, which can isolate populations and deeply affect their viability. In an article recently published by the scientific journal Global Ecology and Biogeography, a research team which includes CIBIO-InBIO researchers Ana Ceia Hasse, Luís Borda de Água and Henrique Pereira, in collaboration with the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, and the Centro Brasileiro de Estudos em Ecologia de Estradas, provides the first global assessment of the exposure of carnivores to roads. The team assessed vulnerability to these infrastructures by estimating critical road densities and critical patch sizes for population persistence, using a demographic model and species traits, and comparing those with the road density and the landscape fragment sizes observed within each species range.
These outcomes, which have been highlighted by the national media, forecast that the expected time to extinction may be as low as one century for some species, as for instance the Iberian lynx. According to Ana Ceia Hasse, first author of this study, “these results stress out the need to reassess the status of species that have not been previously recognized as endangered by roads and to find new solutions for protecting these populations.” In future studies, this model can also be applied at different spatial scales in order to evaluate and manage the development of the road network.


The acknowledgement of the impact of the findings made available by this study has led it to be highlighted in the cover of May Edition of the scientific Global Ecology and Biogeography.


The first author of the study, Ana Ceia-Hasse was interviewed by RTP 2’s program BIOSFERA.
To know more about this topic, please follow the link below:
Infraestruturas Lineares Comprometem Biodiversidade” | RTP 2 "BIOESFERA" | April 22, 2017 (Information available in Portuguese)



To know more about this topic, please follow the link below:
Lince Ibérico está entre os mamíferos carnívoros mais ameaçados pelas estradas” | Wilder | February 16, 2017 (Information available in Portuguese)


To access the national press release for this study, please click here.

To access the original article, please click here.

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