Wildlife loss on roads spurs safety efforts


Latin America’s first “ecoduct” crosses National Route 101 in the Argentine province of Misiones. (Photo by Iván Thibaud,

Think about threats to animal biodiversity, and problems such as poaching, land-use conversion and climate change come to mind. But Brazilian researcher Alex Bager has focused on a less well-known but significant cause—vehicle traffic. In his most recent project, Bager has been crisscrossing Brazil since last October, analyzing road kill as part of a nine-month, 40,000-kilometer (25,000-mile) expedition called Vulture in the Road. The project reflects research occurring in several South American countries, part of an emerging discipline known as “road ecology.” Scientists involved in the work say that unless solutions are adopted urgently, the problem of animals being struck by vehicles will likely contribute significantly to the pace of species extinction in Latin America. “Every second, from 15 to 17 wild animals are run over in Brazil,” Bager says. “At the end of the day, this number adds up to more than one... [Log in to read more]

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