Wildlife & Traffic

A European Handbook for Identifying Conflicts and Designing Solutions

Annex 1. Glossary
Original version (2003)

Annex 1: Glossary Words, expressions

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There are currently 151 names in this directory
Agricultural underpass
Underground passageway or tunnel under transport infrastructure for agricultural use, which may also be used by wildlife.
Amphibian fencing
A continuous structure erected alongside infrastructure, designed to prevent amphibians from crossing or directing them to a specific crossing point.
Amphibian tunnel
An enclosed passage or channel constructed for the purpose of conveying amphibians from one side of an infrastructure to the other.
Generated and maintained, or at least strongly influenced by human activities
Avoidance measures
Measures such as project abandonment or infrastructure re-routing employed to avoid environmental impacts. See also 'Mitigation'
Balancing pond
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
Barrier effect
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.
See ‘Biological diversity’.
Biological diversity
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.
All organisms in a community or area
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).
Buffer zone
Vegetated strip of land intended to protect sensitive habitats, e.g. protected sites, from impacts such as pollution or disturbance from infrastructure.
Highway route that passes around a congested or vulnerable area
Catchment area
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.
Cattle creep
See ‘Agricultural underpass’.
Central reservation
The strip running down the centre of a dual carriageway or motorway (sometimes vegetated), which separates traffic flowing in opposite directions.
Cuttings from herbaceous vegetation.
Community (biotic)
Assemblage of interacting species living in a given location at a given time.
Compensatory measure
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.
See ‘Impact’.
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.
The intersection of two or more roads.
Buried pipe or channel structure, that allows a watercourse and/or road drainage to pass under infrastructure.
See ‘Kerb’.
V-shaped excavation of the land enabling transport infrastructure to be placed below the surrounding land surface.
Deer fencing
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 process or result of the spreading of organisms from one place to another.
The system of drains, pipes and channels devised to remove excess water (surface or subsurface) from an infrastructure surface.
Drover's track
Track used for the driving of herds of cattle or sheep.
Dual carriageway
Road with two lanes of traffic moving in opposite directions on either side of a central reservation (see above).
See ‘Dike’.
See 'Wildlife overpass' or 'Landscape bridge'.
Ecological corridor
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.
Ecological infrastructure
The interconnected pattern of ecological corridors (see above) serving as a conduit for species moving across the landscape.
Ecological network
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.
Transitional zone between two habitats.
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.
Edge (effect)
The portion of an ecosystem near its perimeter, where influences of the surroundings prevent the development of interior environmental conditions.
See 'Impact'.
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.
Endemic species
A species confined to a particular region and thought to have originated there.
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)
Animal species.
Fauna passage
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.
Filter effect
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.
Plant or bacterial life.
Forestry road
(Narrow) road built mainly for forestry purposes which may or may not have public access.
The breaking up of a habitat, ecosystem or landuse unit into smaller parcels.
Animals hunted for sport and food.
Game fencing
See 'Deer fencing’.
The (rate of) change of a parameter between one area or region and another.
See 'Safety fence'.
Guide fencing
Fencing built to lead wild animals to a dedicated crossing point
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.
Habitat attrition
Habitat destruction due to progressive damage, loss or decline in quality.
Habitat fragmentation
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).
Habitat translocation
The relocation of a habitat from one place to another usually to avoid destruction of the habitat by infrastructure development.
Terrestrial plant living in a salty environment.
Hard shoulder
See 'Shoulder'.
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).
A chemical application which kills weeds.
See ‘Road’.
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.
Indicator species
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).
The system of communications and transport services within an area.
Animals lacking a vertebral column, or backbone
See 'Crossroads'.
Edging (usually concrete) built along highways infrastructure to form part of the gutter (see above).
Keystone species
A species that plays a pivotal role in an ecosystem and upon which a large part of the community depends for survival.
Land cover
Combination of landuse and vegetation cover.
Land unit
The smallest functional element of the landscape.
Natural feature on the surface of the earth.
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.
Landscape bridge
Large wildlife overpass or ecoduct used to connect habitats over an infrastructure barrier.
Landscape diversity
The variation and richness of landscapes in a region.
Landscape element
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.
Land used for highway schemes (in the context of this report).
Landuse planning
Activity aimed at predetermining the future spatial usage of land and water by society.
Linear transport infrastructure
Road, railway or navigable inland waterway.
Major road
Road which is assigned permanent traffic priority over other roads.
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.
Action to reduce the severity of, or eliminate, an adverse impact.
Form of transport (e.g. road, rail, air, shipping, pipeline, bicycle, etc.).
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.
Pertaining to more than one 'mode' of transport (see above).
Natura 2000
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.
Noise barrier
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).
Pedestrian underpass
Tunnel under an infrastructure link designed for use by pedestrians.
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).
Red list
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.
Riparian forest
Forest situated by a riverbank or other body of water.
Concrete or tarmac public way for vehicles, humans and animals.
Road corridor
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).
Road network
The interconnected system of roads serving an area.
Junction where three or more roads join and traffic flows in one direction around a central island of land which is often vegetated.
Safety barrier
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.
Safety fence
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'.
Group of fish species; salmon, trout, sea trout, char.
In landscape ecology, the spatial and temporal dimensions of patterns and processes.
Service road
Subsidiary road connecting a more major road with adjacent buildings or facing properties. Normally not a thoroughfare.
Sheet piling
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.
Single carriageway
Road in which a single lane of traffic is flowing in each direction, with no barrier or median strip dividing them.
Single track
Road that is only as wide as a single vehicle, and thus does not permit the flow of two-way traffic.
A defined place, point or locality in the landscape.
Slope protection
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.
Spatial planning
See 'landuse planning'.
Stepping stone
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.
Surface-water drainage
System devised to remove water from the surface of the ground (or infrastructure) (see also 'drainage').
Target species
A species that is the subject of a conservation action or the focus of a study.
Taxon (pl. taxa)
Category in the Linnean classification of living organisms, e.g. species.
Pertaining to land or earth.
Top soil
The top layer of soil that supports vegetation.
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.
Any animal characterised by a vertebral column, or backbone.
Long elevated bridge, supported on pillars, which carries infrastructure over a valley or other similar low-level landscape area.
A navigable body of water.
Construction in a river or canal designed to hold the water upstream at a certain level.
Land or area containing high levels of soil moisture or completely submerged in water for either part or the whole of the year.
All wild animals, plants, fungi and bacteria collectively.
Wildlife corridor
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.
Wildlife fence
Fence designed and erected specifically to prevent animals from gaining access onto infrastructure, or to lead animals to safe crossing points.
Wildlife overpass
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.
Wildlife underpass
Construction built under 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.
Willingness-to-pay (WTP)
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.