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.

The Annexes include: 1) a glossary, 2) an explanation of abbreviations, 3) a list of participants in the project, 4) related internet links, and 5) a list of other relevant handbooks and guidelines.

The infrastructure lifespan

Ch. 1 Introduction
The theme of the handbook.

Ch. 2 Users’ Guide
The structure of the handbook and how to use it.

Ch. 3 Effects of Infrastructure on Nature

Definition of habitat fragmentation, the ecological impacts of transport
infrastructure and primary and secondary effects.

Ch. 4 Developing Integrated Solutions: The Approach
Planning new or upgrading existing transport infrastructure and the wildlife issues involved. The approach to minimising habitat fragmentation adopted in this handbook.

Ch. 5 Planning Tools
Minimising habitat fragmentation in the planning phase on new and existing infrastructure, the use of Strategic Impact Assessment and Environmental Impact Assessment. Decommissioning. Costs and benefits.

Ch. 6 Integration into the Surrounding Landscape
Key issues for the successful integration of infrastructure into the landscape, with emphasis on factors relevant to minimising habitat fragmentation.

Ch. 7 Fauna Passages and other Technical Solutions
Choice and location of mitigation measures according to target species and habitats. Overpasses, underpasses, passages for aquatic organisms, joint-use and modified passages. Measures for avoiding or reducing mortality.

Ch. 8 Ecological Compensation
If mitigation measures will not prevent ecological damage, or where it may not be possible to mitigate, a last resort may be the use of compensatory measures. Methods and examples.

Ch. 9 Monitoring and Evaluation
Guidelines for the design of monitoring programmes and for evaluating the effectiveness of measures. Different monitoring methods are described.
Quality control.

Ch. 10 Annexes

  1. Glossary
  2. Abbreviations
  3. Participants
  4. Related websites
  5. Other handbooks and guidelines