Sumatra is building good motorways across the island leading to the photo of a Sumatran tiger on the edge of the new motorway

Workers building a motorway through the Sumatran rainforest got a beautiful shot of a tiger before it ran back into the forest. Due to the destruction of its home the Sumatran tiger is highly endangered so while this sighting is encouraging it also suggests that the continued building is further eating into the habitat that is left.

Unfortunately this road not only endangers local Sumatran tigers but also elephants.

The company building the motorway has designed six underpasses to allow wildlife to pass unimpeded. Unfortunately given the length of the road is 132 km, six is way too few. We should be looking at vastly more underpasses – wildlife will not roam for 20 km to reach an underpass they will cross wherever suits.

In order for under passes to work they need occur regularly at least once every kilometre or so. Alarmingly these underpasses are a big step forwards as previous motorways have not had any at all.

If animals cannot safely and easily pass the road then it actually cuts the habitat in half. Continuing road building leads to habitat fragmentation which which can be the death of a species as none of the the fragments of habitats are large enough to support wildlife on their own (and crossing over the obstacles successfully occurs so rarely as to not make a difference to the long-term survival)

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