Why the LifeStrade Project
The transport infrastructures are among the most important factors of the present economic and social system, and their development is constantly in progress, both in Europe and in Italy.
They represent a serious threat to the conservation of biodiversity as they cause noise, pollution as well as the loss and fragmentation of habitats.
Moreover, these infrastructures also represent an obstacle to movements and dispersion of wildlife and they are one of the main causes of direct mortality for many species: it has been estimated that between 10 and 100 million birds and mammals are killed each year all over Europe due to collisions with traffic. Only in Italy it has been calculated that over 15.000 collisions occur in each Province per year, a trend that unfortunately is not decreasing. In addition, this phenomenon represents a further threat for several threatened species with high conservation value, such as wolves and bears.
The road collisions that involve ungulates are a reason of great concern for the safety of drivers. Furthermore, they represent a severe economic problem for the authorities in charge of damage compensation.
Although the project does not specifically target the sites or species included the Birds and Habitats Directive, it is important to note that the actions employed can contribute to the development of the Natura 2000 Network. One of the main objectives of the project is to enhance habitat connectivity, through a system that prevents traffic collisions with wildlife and thus facilitates the movement and dispersal of wildlife by removing permanent barriers. The results obtained by this project will be available for replication, to enhance the permeability of roads within the Natura 2000 Network.