Book Review: The Handbook of Road Ecology

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Title: The Handbook of Road Ecology

Editors: Rodney van der Ree; Daniel Smith and Clara Grilo

Summary:

Linear infrastructure, such as roads, railways, power lines, pipelines, tracks and trails and the vehicles that travel on them are critical to supporting economic growth and development. However, the ecological impacts of linear infrastructure and vehicles can be massive, and usually negative. These impacts include habitat loss, fragmentation of habitats and populations, mortality of wildlife due to collision with vehicles, … Read More

Leopard Roadkill, Demow, Assam

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The NH-37 from Guwahati to Tinsukia in Assam weaves through some really magnificent Terai forests and grasslands in the Brahmaputra floodplains. It is also a highly populated landscape. I was driving overnight on NH37 on 28th February 2015 to Tinsukia. Around midnight, near Demow, in Sibsagar District, I saw a small gathering on the road and I assumed that there had been an accident. It was indeed an accident but of a different nature. It was a roadkill of a … Read More

National Highway through Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary is a death trap for animals

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Urgent Action Needed!

Effective speed control measures to reduce wildlife road kills needed immediately as per locations suggested in report (download).

This report has been submitted to the Principal Secretary, Environment and Forests Department, Tamil Nadu and the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden, Tamil Nadu Forest Department for action.

Summary

  1. The National Highway (NH209) passing through Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary poses a grave threat to wildlife.
  2. The extent of the road within the sanctuary is
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Road Killed

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Anything and everything in excess destabilizes the balance of nature. Wind energy is considered to be green but unfortunately there is no policy regulation on how many windmills a landscape can sustain. This might turn out to be hazardous in future and definitely raises a question on its sustainability. Windmills have changed the area around Satara in Maharashtra dramatically. Asia’s largest wind farm is located in and around the Chalkewadi plateau in the northern Western Ghats. The lateritic rocks of … Read More

Roads Emerging as a Critical Threat to Leopards in India?

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This article originally appeared in Cat News 60 – Spring 2014 issue.

Leopards (Panthera pardus) face severe threats from poaching, loss of habitat and killing in retaliation to conflict. However, in India a new threat appears to be emerging in the form of vehicle accident mortalities. In the past 60 months 23 leopards have been recorded as killed due to road accidents in the southern Indian state of Karnataka alone. When roads overlap with important wildlife habitats, considerable … Read More

Lion-Tailed Macaque and Traffic, Someshwara

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This image is from the Agumbe – Someshwara main road in the Malnad region of Karnataka. This is a very busy road as it provides the shortest connection from Shimoga to coastal towns like Manipal, Mangalore and Udupi. Sadly, there are no signboards or speed-breakers to notify wildlife crossing areas.

The lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) is an endangered and endemic macaque found only in the tropical rainforests of the Western Ghats. These macaques can benefit from ecologically informed and … Read More

Failed to escape

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The Indian porcupine (Hystrix indica) is an elusive nocturnal rodent. It is covered in multiple layers of quills. The longest ones grow from its shoulders to about a third of its length. Its tail is covered in short, hollow quills that it rattles when threatened.  When attacked, it raises its quills and rattles the hollow tail quills. If the predator still persists, the porcupine launches a backwards assault, hoping to stab its attacker with its quills. It does … Read More

Leopard Road Kill, MM Hills

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A young male leopard was victim of being run over at night by a speeding vehicle on 5th January, 2013. This happened on the Konanakere-Talubetta Road near the foothills of MM Hills.

Related media coverage about the incident.

Roads and highways through protected areas pose a severe conservation threat. In Karnataka, 9 of the 15 national highways pass through important wildlife habitats in the Western Ghats, while 28 state highways (out of 151) pass through the Ghats. The primary challenge … Read More

A Jungle-striped squirrel runover by a speeding vehicle

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This image was taken along the Aliyar – Valparai ghat road on 29th March 2013 in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu. Speeding two wheelers and cars on these roads pose a serious threat to this lesser known species of the Western Ghats. These squirrels had to cross the road to reach another patch of shola forest amidst tea estates. We saw another Jungle-striped Squirrel nearby. Further up, the same road turns killer to the endangered Lion-tailed macaques which … Read More

Tiger and a plastic bottle, Bandipur

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I saw this young tigress in Bandipur with a plastic bottle near its feet.

In spite of a nighttime traffic closure (see CI casestudy), the Ooty-Mysore highway (NH 67) through Bandipur Tiger Reserve causes serious disturbances to wildlife. Tourists and passersby are always stopping by the road to look at wild animals or disturbing them like feeding monkeys, getting close to already agitated elephants, honking and, not the least, speeding.

Hoever, what disturbed me most was this plastic … Read More

Bridging the Gap

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In the Anamalais, highways and the resulting fragmented canopies, are a huge threat to lion-tailed macaques. The highways department has been widening and improving the quality of roads to cater to the growing tourist population. There has been a sharp increase in the number fairly silent cars that speed through such roads. Macaques have also been emboldened by tourists feeding them, and thus hang out by the roadside. All this has led to a growing number of roadkills to this … Read More

Mudumalai Masinagudi Road Teeming With Vehicles

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This road teems not just with crossing wild animals, but also vehicle traffic. In an attempt to catch a glimpse of the wild, vehicles often stop, blocking the road for other vehicles. Sometimes people go to the extent of annoying animals, like elephants, to get pictures and videos of “mock charges”, attacks and so on. I have personally observed an elephant calf get separated from its mother, unable to cross the road. The mother had to charge and drive vehicles … Read More