Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Research points way to more bat-friendly roads and railways

How can we build wildlife-friendly roads and railways?

Date:October 22, 2015
Source:University of Leeds

Scientists behind new research into the effects of transport infrastructure on biodiversity have developed much-needed approaches to protect wildlife.

A Defra-funded study, conducted by a team from the University of Leeds led by Professor John Altringham, sets out best practice principles for assessing the impact of new roads and railways on bats, as well as the effectiveness of mitigation measures installed to help them cross safely.

These new survey methods should improve the efficiency of planning processes, thereby benefitting both developers and wildlife.

The researchers' new report highlights the need for a more rigorous, evidence-based approach to protecting wildlife during development.

Professor Altringham and his colleagues argue that previous work has not been based on good ecological understanding, while a lack of effective monitoring has hidden failure.

Describing bats as 'the canary in the mine' -- key indicators of biodiversity -- the researchers believe more attention should be given to the potential effects of transport infrastructure on biodiversity.

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