“A global map of roadless areas and their conservation status”, published by Science, is the most comprehensive inventory of roads and roadless areas in the world and shows just how fast we are losing wild places across the planet. Geos Institute’s Dr. Dominick DellaSala is one of the co-authors. You can listen to him talk about the study in a Jefferson Exchange interview.
Roads have done much to help humanity spread across the planet and maintain global movement and trade. However, roads also damage wild areas and rapidly contribute to habitat degradation and species loss. Ibisch et al. cataloged the world’s roads. Though most of the world is not covered by roads, it is fragmented by them, with only 7% of land patches created by roads being greater than 100 km2. Furthermore, environmental protection of roadless areas is insufficient, which could lead to further degradation of the world’s remaining wildernesses.
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