A spatially explicit impact assessment of road characteristics, road-induced fragmentation and noise on bird species in Cyprus

03/25/2020 ∙ by Konstantinos Konstantopoulos, et al. ∙ 0

The rapid increase of transportation infrastructure during the recent decades has caused a number of effects on bird species, including collision mortality, habitat loss, fragmentation and noise. This paper investigates the effects of traffic noise and road-induced fragmentation on breeding bird richness in Cyprus. Cyprus, situated along one of the main migratory routes for birds, has a rich and diverse avifauna threatened by an ever-expanding road network and a road density among the highest in Europe. In this first island-wide study we used data from 102 breeding birds recorded in 10 km x 10 km grid cells. Within every cell we calculated road traffic noise and eight road-related properties. Most of the grid cells are subject to intense fragmentation and traffic noise with combined impact hotspots located even within protected areas (such as Cape Greco, and the Troodos Massif). Results from variance partitioning indicated that road-related properties (total road extent and road length) accounted for a combined 59 fragmentation-related properties and noise properties. The study posits the need for further in-depth research on the effects of road networks on birds, and road construction, particularly in protected areas within Mediterranean islands.

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