Aug 31, 2012
Call for road ecology measures to tackle wildlife casualtiesBack
Construction|Port|Africa|Design|Endangered Wildlife Trust|Flow|PROJECT|Road|Roads|Africa|Europe|North America|Australia|South Africa|Port Programme|Flow|Linear Infrastructure|Road Networks|Environmental|Claire Patterson-Abrolat|Infrastructure|Wendy Collinson
Conclusions from the recent Endangered Wildlife Trust’s (EWT’s) Wildlife and Trans- port Programme (WTP) road ecology workshops have underlined the need for a five-year dedicated action plan that focuses specifically on collaborative efforts to facilitate the safe migration of local fauna.
Linear infrastructure such as roads, railways and utility easements often intersect migration routes, which influence biodiversity and ecosystem processes across substantial tracts of land.
Over the past two decades, research on the effects of roads and traffic on wildlife, as well as the use of mitigation efforts, such as fencing and wildlife-crossing structures, has dramatically increased in Europe, North America and Australia. The uptake of road ecology in Africa is, however, far slower and not a routine element of road design, construction or management.
“In developing States such as South Africa, roads are often perceived as sym- bols of development, with the social and economic needs of the country often taking precedence over ecological requirements,” explains WTP manager Claire Patterson-Abrolat.
The five-year action plan, which will be developed as an outcome of the local road ecology workshops, will outline measures to be taken in the mitigation of the negative ecological impacts of road networks, outline research needs, identify measures for consideration as well as promote the development and adoption of best-practice guidelines for developers and landowners.
Possible mitigation measures appropriate to the South African context include the routing of new roads through areas of insignificant environmental value and developing underpasses or overpasses across roads to facilitate the safe crossing of animals.
In addition, Patterson-Abrolat explains that adaptations to existing structures, such as culverts, can be made to make it possible for animals that have certain skills, such as climbing, to cross roads with greater ease.
“Road ecology does not simply allow wildlife to cross roads safely, but also enables ecological processes to continue functioning, ensures that habitats are not fragmented and guarantees that the genetic flow within a species is not disrupted,” she explains.
At the recent workshops, EWT Road Kill Research and Mitigation Project member Wendy Collinson shared her findings around road kill surveys conducted over the last year in the Greater Mapungubwe area, in northern Limpopo.
Driving 100 km daily for 120 days, she recorded more than 1 100 road kills, which comprised 166 different species and illus- trated the extent of wildlife fatalities on national roads.
As a result of the two workshops, the EWT’s WTP will collaborate with road agencies and other interested parties to develop an appropriate long-term action plan.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
To subscribe email email@example.com or click here
To advertise email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here
Other Environment News
Recent Research Reports
Automotive 2016: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Automotive 2016 Report provides an overview of South Africa’s automotive industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into local demand and production, vehicle imports and exports, investment and competitiveness in the sector, as well...
Energy Roundup – April 2016 (PDF Report)
The April 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for March 2016 and includes details of a North Gauteng High Court Judge’s dismissal of a court application to postpone the 9.4% electricity tariff increase, which the National Energy Regulator of South...
Electricity 2016: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2016 report provides an overview of South Africa’s electricity sector, focusing on State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Energy Roundup – March 2016 (PDF Report)
The March 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for February 2016 and includes details of the Department of Energy’s plans to announce the preferred bidders for the first tranche of the coal independent power producer procurement programme; the Council...
Steel 2016: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2016 Report examines South Africa’s steel industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the global steel market and and particularly into South South Africa’s steel sector, including production and consumption, main...
Construction 2016: A review of South Africa's construction industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2016 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; key participants; local demand; geographic diversification; corporate activity; black economic...
This Week's Magazine
The two spent-fuel pools at Eskom’s 1 800 MW Koeberg nuclear power station, in the Western Cape, will be full by 2018, increasing the urgency on the State-owned utility to begin pursuing alternative storage options. Koeberg has, over the past 32 years, accumulated a...
South Africa lacks the skills necessary to implement the government’s plan to build 9.6 GWe of new nuclear energy capacity, warns nuclear-qualified Quality Strategies International CEO David Crawford. “Apart from the concern about the affordability of the programme,...
Cybersecurity multinational Check Point has released its latest 700-series cybersecurity systems for small businesses, which draw on its international threat intelligence to provide up-to-date cybersecurity, says Check Point South Africa country manager Doros...
Daimler Trucks and Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) saw a marked slip in new-vehicle sales in 2015 compared with 2014, with sales dropping from 5 897 units to 5 300 units. The decline came as the South African new truck and bus market declined from 31 558 units in 2014...
Group of 20 (G-20) economies threatened to penalise havens that don’t share information on their banking clients after the leak of the Panama Papers provoked a global uproar over tax evasion. The G-20 will consider “defensive measures” against financial centers and...