Wildlife & Traffic

A European Handbook for Identifying Conflicts and Designing Solutions

2 Users’ Guide
Original version (2003)
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How to use this Handbook

The barrier and fragmentation effects of infrastructure can be eliminated or minimised in different ways and during several phases of its development and use. Fragmentation problems can often be avoided if the right decisions are made in the early phases of planning. The barrier effect can be reduced by integrating the infrastructure into the surrounding landscape, or by building secure crossing points for wildlife. Objectives for existing infrastructure should focus on improving its permeability and on defragmenting the landscape.

The phases in an infrastructure's lifespan are usually more or less separate (i.e. planning, operation and decommissioning) and need input and expertise from different professionals. The parts of this handbook are structured to make it easy for people to find the relevant information on the different phases. At the bottom of each divider page is a lifespan diagram, which highlights which phase the chapter is related to (see Figure 2.1), and on the first page of each chapter there is a list of contents. Each page has the number of the chapter printed in the margin.

Chapter 3 briefly describes the different ecological impacts of transport infrastructure. These are habitat loss, barrier effects, fauna casualties, pollution and the key issue of the handbook, habitat fragmentation. Chapter 4 explains how to develop integrated solutions and avoid fragmentation, and underlines the importance of early consideration of habitat fragmentation in infrastructure construction projects.

Chapters 5-7 provide advice on minimising fragmentation specific to the planning, design, construction and implementation stages of transport infrastructure development.

Occasionally, it is not possible to avoid fragmentation at the planning level nor can the effects be entirely mediated by special mitigation measures. In such cases ecological compensation measures should be considered. This is discussed in Chapter 8.

To identify examples of good practice and to provide the basis of good practice guidance, the various methods for mitigating habitat fragmentation need to be monitored. Chapter 9 provides detailed guidance on monitoring the success of mitigation measures and advises on maintenance issues.

Chapter 10 , the first new chapter added in 2020 to the online handbook, provides guidelines to undertake appropriate maintenance to guarantee the long-term performance of wildlife mitigation measures and appropriate management of habitats related to transport infrastructure.