Restoring ecological networks across transport corridors in Bulgaria
Transport corridors, such as roads and railroads, have been shown to be major causes of habitat fragmentation. They not only cause the loss of natural habitats but also affect the quality of adjacent habitats, inhibit animal movements and, last but not least, increase unnatural wildlife mortality due to collisions with traffic.
The main objective of the project was to develop a long-term programme for defragmentation measures at transport corridors in Bulgaria in order to restore ecological networks and preserve biodiversity. This included:
- strengthening interinstitutional cooperation at the national and regional level on transport-ecology issues;
- improving implementation of transport-ecology issues in EIA statements and guidelines for the development and design of transport networks;
- institutionalizing the exchange of knowledge and best practices between experts from Bulgaria and other European countries to mitigate and compensate ecological impacts of the expansion of transport networks;
- raising political, administrative and public awareness on the impacts of habitat fragmentation due to transport corridors in Bulgaria.
The project ran for two years (1 January 2006 to 31 December 2007).
The project was carried out by ALTERRA of Wageningen University and Research Centre in close cooperation with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and seven other project partners:
- National Road Fund (formerly Road Executive Agency)
- Road and Hydraulic Engineering Institute of the Netherlands Ministry of Transport and Public Works
- BALKANI Wildlife Society
- Bulgarian Herpetological Society
- Wilderness Fund
- ECNC-European Centre for Nature Conservation
- Western Transportation Institute of Montana State University (USA)
The project was funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (BBI-Matra 2007/005) and Wageningen University and Research Centre.