Modeling of permeability and mortality effects on wildlife populations

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Background

A meta-population model that evaluates the effects of infrastructure permeability and traffic mortality on population viability criteria has been developed in the previous SafeRoad/CEDR project. The model is a potentially influencial tool to identify critical impacts on populations, and its strength lies in the analysis of the relative effects of mitigation options (fences or passages) that reduce mortality and/or barrier effects. The most recent step in the model development have given new and potentially very important results with regard to the need of fencing for population viability.

The model can serve as a decision support tool, by helping infrastructure planners to locate and identify cost-effective measures. If combined with cost-estimates for individual measures, cost-benefit calculations can be employed. So far, the model has only been applied to generalized, simplified landscapes. 

Activities

The current model is applied to a real Swedish landscape, thereby validating the previous results by running the model in real-world landscapes. Digital data on wildlife, road network and landcover are compiled and digital maps developed to provide tabular input into the model.

The model will be run with adjusted coding to simulate several different mitigation scenarios. Moose, red deer and badger will be selected as initial focal species. A summary functionality assessment of the model in real-world mitigation planning will be conducted. 

The results will be published scientifically.

Output

The model predicts probabilities for local population survival and extinction in dependence to the different mitigation scenarios. If the application proves to be useful to real-world mitigation planning, the results can be used to develop a user-friendly interface that will allow end-users (planners, consultants) to run the model freely to test different scenarios.

Study area

Part of the Trafikverket region Syd will be selected for the study (Skåne and Blekinge; exact demarkation of area is to be decided). 

Photo: J-O Helldin