Wildlife & Traffic
A European Handbook for Identifying Conflicts and Designing Solutions
Annex 1. Glossary
Original version (2003)
Annex 1: Glossary Words, expressions
There are currently 151 names in this directory
Underground passageway or tunnel under transport infrastructure for agricultural use, which may also be used by wildlife.
A continuous structure erected alongside infrastructure, designed to prevent amphibians from crossing or directing them to a specific crossing point.
An enclosed passage or channel constructed for the purpose of conveying amphibians from one side of an infrastructure to the other.
Measures such as project abandonment or infrastructure re-routing employed to avoid environmental impacts. See also 'Mitigation'
Artificial water body fed by storm drains and surface runoff, where pollutants from the road can settle out or filter through reeds before being released into the wider drainage system
The combined effect of traffic mortality, physical barriers and avoidance, which together reduce the likelihood and success of species crossing infrastructure
Horizontal ledge in an earth bank or cutting constructed to ensure the stability of a steep slope.
The richness among living organisms including terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part. It includes diversity within and between species and within and between ecosystems as well the processes linking ecosystems and species.
The area inhabited by a distinct community of plants and animals. Biotope is commonly used among central European ecologists to describe distinct land units and vegetation patches identified from an anthropocentric perspective. Biotope is often confused with and exchanged by the term habitat
Defined area (e.g. habitat corridor or patch) which, due to the presence of transport infrastructure or other landuse, has become a limiting factor to animal migration or dispersal.
Cuttings of woody vegetation (often left in a pile, or randomly scattered across infrastructure verges).
Vegetated strip of land intended to protect sensitive habitats, e.g. protected sites, from impacts such as pollution or disturbance from infrastructure.
Geographical area from which all precipitation flows to a single stream or set of streams (may also be termed a drainage basin, or watershed). In this handbook this may also refer to the area from which animals come to use a particular fauna passage.
The strip running down the centre of a dual carriageway or motorway (sometimes vegetated), which separates traffic flowing in opposite directions.
Measure or action taken to compensate for a residual adverse ecological effect which cannot be satisfactorily mitigated. See also 'Mitigation'.
The state of structural landscape features being connected, enabling access between places via a continuous route of passage. The physical connections between landscape elements.
Tract of land or water connecting two or more areas of habitats that aid animal movement across the landscape. See also 'Wildlife corridor'.
Designated or recognised place for people or fauna to cross from one side of an infrastructure to the other.
Buried pipe or channel structure, that allows a watercourse and/or road drainage to pass under infrastructure.
V-shaped excavation of the land enabling transport infrastructure to be placed below the surrounding land surface.
Continuous structure erected alongside infrastructure and designed to prevent deer from crossing or to direct them to a specific crossing point. See ‘Wildlife fence’.
A wall built to prevent the sea or a river from flooding an area, or a channel dug to take water away from an area.
The system of drains, pipes and channels devised to remove excess water (surface or subsurface) from an infrastructure surface.
Road with two lanes of traffic moving in opposite directions on either side of a central reservation (see above).
Landscape structures of various size, shape and vegetative cover that maintain, establish or enhance landscape connectivity. Hedgerows or verges are examples of ecological corridors (natural and artificial) that can act as interconnecting routes permitting the movement of species across a landscape and increasing the overall extent of habitat available to individuals.
The interconnected pattern of ecological corridors (see above) serving as a conduit for species moving across the landscape.
System of ecological corridors (see above), habitat core areas and their buffer zones which provide the network of habitats needed for the successful protection of biological diversity at the landscape level.
Dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment, interacting as a functional unit.
Distinct area with a recognisable set of characteristics relating to the soil, vegetation or water conditions. The ecotope represents the smallest land unit that makes up the landscape mosaic.
The portion of an ecosystem near its perimeter, where influences of the surroundings prevent the development of interior environmental conditions.
Artificial bank (made of packed earth or gravel) such as a mound or dike, constructed above the natural ground surface in a linear form and designed to carry a roadway or railway across a lower lying area.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA
A method and a process by which information about potential environmental effects is collected, assessed and used to inform decision-making. See also 'Strategic Environmental Assessment'. Also referred to as Environmental Assessment (EA)
Measure installed to enable animals to cross over or under a road, railway or canal without coming into contact with the traffic.
Measure installed to prevent animals from becoming trapped by fences along infrastructure, e.g. badger gate, or built in the sheet piling of a canal to enable animals to exit amphibian ramps.
Infrastructure acts as a filter by inhibiting the movement of certain species or individuals. The scale of the effect varies between species and may even vary between sexes or age categories.
(Narrow) road built mainly for forestry purposes which may or may not have public access.
Paved channel designed to carry runoff from the edge of infrastructure into the drainage system.
The type of site (vegetation, soils, etc.) where an organism or population naturally occurs - including a mosaic of components required for the survival of a species.
Dissection and reduction of the habitat area available to a given species - caused directly by habitat loss (e.g. land-take) or indirectly by habitat isolation (e.g. by barriers preventing movement between neighbouring habitat patches).
The relocation of a habitat from one place to another usually to avoid destruction of the habitat by infrastructure development.
A close row of woody species (bushes or trees) serving as a boundary feature between open areas (often used in combination with or as an alternative to a fence).
The immediate response of an organism, species or community to an external factor. This response may have an effect on the species that may result in wider consequences at the population, species or community level.
Measures of simple environmental variables used to indicate some aspect of the state of the environment, e.g. the degree of habitat fragmentation.
Species indicative of (a) some current or historical environmental or historical influence (e.g. lichens can be atmospheric pollution indicators, and woodland ground-flora can be indicative of ancient woodland), or (b) a community or habitat type (e.g. some species can be used to classify invertebrate communities, or are indicative of particular habitats).
Edging (usually concrete) built along highways infrastructure to form part of the gutter (see above).
A species that plays a pivotal role in an ecosystem and upon which a large part of the community depends for survival.
The total spatial and visual entity of human living space integrating the geological, biological and human-made environment. A heterogeneous land area composed of a cluster of interacting ecosystems that create a specific, recognisable pattern.
Large wildlife overpass or ecoduct used to connect habitats over an infrastructure barrier.
Each of the relatively homogeneous units, or spatial elements, recognised at the scale of a landscape mosaic.
To modify the original landscape by altering the topography and/or plant cover - this may include building earthworks to form new landscape structures.
Activity aimed at predetermining the future spatial usage of land and water by society.
In landscape ecology, the background habitat or landuse type in a mosaic, characterised by extensive cover and high connectivity.
A set of local populations within an area, where typically migration from one local population to at least some others is necessary to sustain local population numbers. The metapopulation may have a higher persistence than the single local populations.
The regular, usually seasonal, movement of all or part of an animal population to and from a given area.
Combination of observation and measurement employed to quantify the performance of a plan, measure or action against a set of predetermined indicators, criteria or policy objectives.
The pattern of patches and corridors embedded in a matrix (in this case, within a landscape). See ‘Matrix’.
Major arterial highway that features: two or more traffic lanes of traffic moving in each direction, separated by a 'central reservation' (see above); controlled entries and exits; and alignment eliminating steep grades, sharp curves, and other hazards (e.g. grade crossings) and inconveniences to driving.
Natura 2000 sites are those identified as sites of Community importance under the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC or classified as special protection areas (SPAs) under the Birds Directive 79/409/EEC. Together, the SPAs designated by the Member States make up the European network of protected sites, Natura 2000.
Measure installed to reduce the dispersal of traffic noise in a certain sensitive area (e.g. wall, fence, screen).
Structure (including its approaches) which allows one infrastructure element to pass above another (or other type of obstacle).
Any chemical application used to kill insects, rodents, weeds, fungi or other living organisms, which are harmful to plants, animals or foodstuffs.
Cylindrical water tight structure sunk into the ground to provide a passage (from one side of the infrastructure to another).
Functional group of individuals that interbreed within a given, often arbitrarily chosen, area.
Re-establishment of forest by the planting of trees (may have commercial or ecological functions).
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species provides taxonomic, conservation status and distribution information on taxa that have been evaluated using a system designed to determine the relative risk of extinction. The main purpose of the IUCN Red List is to catalogue and highlight those taxa that are facing a higher risk of global extinction (i.e. those listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable). Red lists of species also exist at the national level.
A geographical area (usually larger than 100 km2) embracing several landscapes or ecosystems that share some features, e.g. topography, fauna, vegetation, climate, etc. Examples include bio-geographic and socio-economic regions.
The process of converting an existing landscape surface into a designed form by undertaking earthworks, e.g. cutting, filling or smoothing operations.
The process of returning something to an earlier condition or state. Ecological restoration involves a series of measures and activities undertaken to return a degraded ecosystem to its former state.
Linear surface used by vehicles plus any associated verges (usually vegetated). Includes the area of land immediately influenced by the road in terms of noise, visual, hydrological and atmospheric impact (normally within 50 to 100 m of the edge of the infrastructure).
Junction where three or more roads join and traffic flows in one direction around a central island of land which is often vegetated.
A vehicle-resistant barrier installed alongside or on the central reserve of infrastructure, intended to prevent errant vehicles from leaving the designated corridor and thus limit consequential damage. 'Safety fence' (see below) is one example of a safety barrier.
Continuous structure (of varied material) erected alongside infrastructure designed to prevent errant vehicles from leaving the designated corridor and limit consequential damage. May also be termed 'Guard-rail'.
Subsidiary road connecting a more major road with adjacent buildings or facing properties. Normally not a thoroughfare.
Waterway bank erosion protection (wooden, iron or concrete planks sunk vertically between the edge of the water and the embankment).
The linear paved strip at the side of a 'motorway' which vehicles are allowed to use during emergencies, and which is used by maintenance vehicles to access works.
Road in which a single lane of traffic is flowing in each direction, with no barrier or median strip dividing them.
Road that is only as wide as a single vehicle, and thus does not permit the flow of two-way traffic.
Activity or measure aimed at preventing soil erosion on slopes (e.g. by covering the ground with vegetation, stones, concrete or asphalt).
Source - sink habitats and populations
Source habitats are areas where populations of a given species can reach a positive balance between births and deaths and thus act as a source of emigrating individuals. Sink habitats, on the other hand, have a non-sustaining birth-death ratio and are dependent on immigration from source populations.
Ecologically suitable patch where an organism temporarily stops while moving along a heterogeneous route.
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
The application of the principles of Environmental Impact Assessment (see above) to policies, plans and programmes at a regional, national and international level.
System devised to remove water from the surface of the ground (or infrastructure) (see also 'drainage').
Structure, including its approaches, which allows one route to pass under another route or obstacle.
The strip of land (often vegetated) beyond the infrastructure surface itself, but within the infrastructure corridor.
Long elevated bridge, supported on pillars, which carries infrastructure over a valley or other similar low-level landscape area.
Land or area containing high levels of soil moisture or completely submerged in water for either part or the whole of the year.
Linear-shaped area or feature of value to wildlife - particularly for facilitating movement across a landscape.
Wildlife crossing point
Designated place for wildlife to cross infrastructure safely, e.g. using a specially-designed overpass, underpass, etc.
Fence designed and erected specifically to prevent animals from gaining access onto infrastructure, or to lead animals to safe crossing points.
Construction built over infrastructure in order to connect the habitats on either side. The surface is, at least partly, covered with soil or other natural material that allows the establishment of vegetation.
A term used in economics to quantify the maximum amount of consumption possibilities that an individual is prepared to sacrifice in order to consume a particular good. In many research projects, such as valuation of various environmental assets, the purpose is to estimate WTP in terms of money.