Tigers threatened by a vast network of planned roads across Asia

Tigers threatened by a vast network of planned roads across Asia

A Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae). Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay. The Bukit Tigapuluh landscape in Indonesia has been sliced and diced by roads, opening its forests to threats from the outside. As forest vanishes in the region, so too does its population of endangered Sumatran tigers. A rapidly expanding road network in Asia threatens to usher in similar problems for tigers (Panthera tigris) elsewhere in Indonesia and beyond. According to a new study published in the journal Science Advances, nearly 24,000 kilometers (15,000 miles) of new roads will be built in tiger conservation landscapes (TCLs) in Asia by 2050. Using a recently developed global roads data set, University of Michigan conservation ecologist Neil Carter and his colleagues calculated the extent of planned and existing road networks across a 13-country range in Asia and the potential impacts of those roads to the globally endangered tiger. The analyses covered a nearly 1.16-million-square-kilometer (448,000-square-mile) range across Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam. “Our analysis demonstrates that, overall, tigers face a ubiquitous and mounting threat from road networks across much of their 13-country range,” Carter said in a statement. Royal Bengal tiger in Corbett National Park. Photo by Udayan Dasgupta/Mongabay. Tigers are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, with fewer than 4,000 individuals still remaining in the wild. Tiger conservation has been flagged as a global conservation priority, and the international initiative TX2 has set a goal of doubling global tiger numbers between…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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