Assessing the impacts of road traffic disturbance on the UK's bird populations.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Zoology


The aim of this project is understanding the effects of roads on bird populations in the UK. The UK's roads differ in size, material, location and traffic levels, all of which are likely to affect their overall impact. Light and noise pollution are produced by multiple sources, such as street lights, headlights, general vehicle noise, horns and emergency service sirens, which also may affect populations differently. In addition, disturbance from construction and maintenance of roads must be taken into account. As such, quantifying the complex impacts of roads, which aren't necessarily negative for all species, will be challenging and stimulating work which, no doubt, will lead to further questions beyond the PhD. The identification and design of mitigation means has the potential to affect a wide range of species and conservation projects throughout the UK and I believe I could make a significant contribution to this work.


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Description That road disturbance significantly affects the ability of observers to detect birds in surveys and that there is correlation between road disturbance across Great Britain and the spatial distribution of bird populations.
Exploitation Route The mechanisms underlying the links between roads and bird populations in Britain need investigating, along with research on potential mitigation of road impacts on birds.
Sectors Environment