Crossing Structure Use in a Tiger Landscape, and Implications For Multi-Species Mitigation
47 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2022
Crossing structures (CS) for wildlife are important mitigation strategies to offset impacts of roads on wildlife. Little information on CS use exists for the Indian subcontinent or the global tiger landscapes. We monitored wildlife use of nine CS on a national highway in a critical tiger conservation landscape in India. 21 wild mammals were found to use the CS within a span of 2 years. Tigers, wild dogs, most small mammals and ungulates were found to use CS that were near protected areas, while ungulates and small mammals preferred CS with proximal vegetation cover. High species richness was observed under large CS. Similar movement rates for large carnivores between CS and adjacent habitat were observed. We found varied responses by structure generalists and specialists, a consequence of animal behavior and tolerance to human disturbance. We posit that animal behavior holds the key to designing and managing effective wildlife CS.
Keywords: Mitigation, road ecology, passage use, biodiversity conservation, mammals, tiger landscape
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