Assessing the impact of roads on animal population viability
Different tools have been developed to study the potential effects of spatial developments, such as the construction of roads, on the viability of animal populations. For instance, with dynamic (meta)population models the impacts of spatial developments can be accurately quantified. However, these models are often species specific and require detailed field research to validate the parameters used. If a multi-species analyses is needed, the use of such models is often impractical and expensive. In that case, an expert system, in which analyses of different species can be aggregated, may be a better tool to assess these kinds of impacts. Pros and cons of both types of tools are illustrated with (1) the ex-ante analyses of badger (Meles meles) population viability in central Limburg (The Netherlands) after the (proposed) construction of highway A73, and (2) the multi-species analyses of high priority locations to restore habitat connectivity across main roads in The Netherlands.