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Roads and wildlife: a study of the effects of roads on mammals in roadside habitats

Underhill, Jackie E. (2003)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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There is increasing concern about the adverse effects of the road network on wildlife. The impacts of roads in the ecological landscape include habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and habitat degradation. These interrupt and modify natural processes, altering community structures and population dynamics. The large number of animal fatalities from road traffic accidents is also of concern. Only limited work has been carried out to investigate the intensity of these effects in the UK landscape. This study investigates the effects of roads on both small and large mammals and reviews mitigation measures that have been installed to ameliorate some of these effects. Roads of all sizes present a significant barrier to animal movement and they affect it in specific ways. Movement of small mammals is inhibited by lack of cover and the hostile road surface, whilst fragmentation of the road-verge by highway-related structures, impedes dispersal and compromises the benefits of connectivity often ascribed to such areas. Large animals, which use roads to travel through their territory, are more likely to be struck by traffic and are therefore, more directly affected by traffic-intensity. There is room for further mitigation to reduce the worst of the road-related impacts.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Angold, Penny G.
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences
Department:Environmental Sciences
Additional Information:

The thesis included the published article: Underhill, J.E. & Angold, P.G. (2000) 'Effects of roads on wildlife in an intensively modified landscape' Environmental Review. 8: pp 21-39. A pre-print is available at /

Keywords:Habitat fragmentation; Barrier effect; Road mortality; Roadkill;
Subjects:GE Environmental Sciences
QH Natural history
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:80
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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