Image Credit: LACTWG
Articulating efforts to mitigate the effects of linear infrastructure
Colombia currently has 204,855 km of road network, which, according to the Intermodal Transportation Plan adopted in 2014, will grow by 2035, to 33,818 km, between primary network roads and integration networks. Many of these new projects go through or impact the ecological integrity of priority areas for the conservation of biodiversity in the country, which will add to the effect generated by the existing roads.
It is for this reason that since 2015 in Colombia, we have been working to integrate efforts between state entities such as the ministries of Transportation, Environment and Sustainable Development and the INVIAS agencies; and ME; ANSV, with the support of the academy, foundations and the Colombian Network of Tracking Fauna Atropellada. One of the fruits of the joint work is the articulation of an action plan for the mitigation of the collision of wild fauna, which includes the generation of various technical guides, the construction of a “fauna vulnerability map” that identifies the most critical areas on the country’s highways and conducting training sessions in several regions. This integration of efforts also resulted in the launch by the national government of the campaign “Life Club on the road” that seeks to sensitize drivers and collect more information on issues of wildlife run over in the country.
According to Data from APP RECOSFA, the species with the most reports of run over in the country are; Didelphis marsupialis, Notosciurus granatensis, Tamandua mexicana, Cerdocyon Cerdocyon, Procyon cancrivorus and Iguana iguana. At the class level, it is mammals, followed by reptiles and birds, that accumulate the greatest amount of run over data
In Colombia there are approximately 15 published studies on the subject of road ecology and progress is currently being made in conducting studies in different regions of the country, which are generating valuable information for understanding the problem of running over wildlife
Recently, the national government published the document on Green Road Infrastructure Guidelines for Colombia and they are finishing two technical guides aimed at diagnosing the run over of fauna and guidelines for the construction of wildlife crossings. In addition, an inventory of wildlife crossings built on the country's roads and in the interior of some capital cities is being carried out