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Predicting barrier effects of transportation networks on Asian elephants: Implications for environmental impact assessment

Citation

Huang, Cheng; Li, Xueyou; Hu, Wenqiang; Jiang, Xuelong (2019), Predicting barrier effects of transportation networks on Asian elephants: Implications for environmental impact assessment, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2v6wwpzh0

Abstract

The rapid proliferation of transportation networks (TNs) is a threat to wide–ranged animals through habitat erosion, road–kill, and indirect socio–ecological interaction. In most cases, environmental impact assessments of TNs about animals are descriptive and targeted to direct impacts of the “linear features”, while indirect and cumulative impacts are relatively neglected. Using spatially explicit data of elephant–caused damage during 2012–2015 in China, we quantified barrier effects of TN on Asian elephants and predicted the effects under a TN expansion scenario using maximum entropy algorithms. We found that TN acted as a strong barrier even for the elephants that have inhabited highly fragmented landscapes for years, with only 18% of the damage occurred on the crossed side of roads. Also, the TN expansion will reduce elephant habitats, exacerbating herd isolation and human–elephant conflict locally. Thus, we suggest that mitigation of the conflicts should be integrated into future environmental impact assessments.

Methods

Please check details in the article.

Usage Notes

We have prepared a manuscript to explore multi-spatial mechanism of elephant-caused damage, any use of this dataset should not be competing.

Funding

Chinese Academy of Sciences, Award: No. XDA23080501