Where and how are roads endangering mammals in Southeast Asia's forests?

Clements, Gopalasamy Reuben, Lynam, Antony J., Gaveau, David, Yap, Wei Lim, Lhota, Stanislav, Goosem, Miriam, Laurance, Susan, and Laurance, William F. (2014) Where and how are roads endangering mammals in Southeast Asia's forests? PLoS ONE, 9 (12). e115376. pp. 1-25.

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Abstract

Habitat destruction and overhunting are two major drivers of mammal population declines and extinctions in tropical forests. The construction of roads can be a catalyst for these two threats. In Southeast Asia, the impacts of roads on mammals have not been well-documented at a regional scale. Before evidence-based conservation strategies can be developed to minimize the threat of roads to endangered mammals within this region, we first need to locate where and how roads are contributing to the conversion of their habitats and illegal hunting in each country. We interviewed 36 experts involved in mammal research from seven Southeast Asian countries to identify roads that are contributing the most, in their opinion, to habitat conversion and illegal hunting. Our experts highlighted 16 existing and eight planned roads - these potentially threaten 21% of the 117 endangered terrestrial mammals in those countries. Apart from gathering qualitative evidence from the literature to assess their claims, we demonstrate how species-distribution models, satellite imagery and animal-sign surveys can be used to provide quantitative evidence of roads causing impacts by (1) cutting through habitats where endangered mammals are likely to occur, (2) intensifying forest conversion, and (3) contributing to illegal hunting and wildlife trade. To our knowledge, ours is the first study to identify specific roads threatening endangered mammals in Southeast Asia. Further through highlighting the impacts of roads, we propose 10 measures to limit road impacts in the region.

Item ID: 38210
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Keywords: deforestation, highways, hunting, poaching, roads, Southeast Asia
Additional Information:

© 2014 Clements et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Rhino and Tiger Conservation Fund, Rufford Small Grant for Nature Conservation (RSGNC), Universiti Malaya (UM), Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Cleveland Zoological Society (CZS), IDEA WILD, James Cook University, Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: FWS 96200-0-G279, RSGNC RG359-12HNE
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2015 23:35
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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