Traffic mortality and the role of minor roads.

F. Langevelde, J.A. van Dooremalen, C.F. Jaarsma

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Roads have large impacts on wildlife, as they form one of the principal causes of mortality, and disturbance and fragmentation of habitat. These impacts are mainly studied and mitigated on major roads. It is, however, a widespread misconception that most animals are killed on major roads. In this paper, we argue that minor roads have a larger impact on wildlife with respect to habitat destruction, noise load and traffic mortality. We use data on traffic related deaths in badgers (Meles meles) in The Netherlands to illustrate that traffic mortality is higher on minor roads. We ask for a more extensive investigation of the environmental impacts of minor roads. Moreover, we argue that the success of mitigation on roads drastically increases when both major and minor roads are integrated in the planning of traffic flows. Therefore, we propose a strategy based on the concept of a "traffic-calmed area". Traffic-calmed areas create opportunities for wildlife by decreasing limitations for animal movement. We ask for further studies to estimate what size traffic-calmed areas should be to maintain minimum viable animal populations. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)660-667
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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