For several centuries deforestation, expansion of farming, development of human settlements and transport infrastructure have caused considerable fragmentation of European natural environments and their animal and plant populations. Habitat fragmentation has occured throughout Europe but is most pronounced in its western part. Eastern Europe has more successfully preserved the continuity of its forests and, as a result, viable populations of many animals that are now rare or extinct to the west.

Since many animal species are threatened by habitat fragmentation, we should work for the preservation of, or even gradual improvement in, the connectivity of natural habitats. Currently, this is a major issue resulting from the accelerating progress of civilization. Roads and railways are becaming more and more serious barrier to animal movements. Increasing traffic, along with modernization of old and construction of new transportation infrastructure, are causing these negative effects to increase considerably. In order to prevent this, we must aim at guaranteeing opportunities for animal movement by creation and protection of ecological corridors.

Copyright by Robert W. Mysłajek

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