Strengthening of road infrastructure has become a major threat to the tiger population: 24 thousand kilometers of roads built by 2050 will reduce the numbers of these raptors by 20 percent, and will increase the risks of poaching and illegal extraction of natural resources. According to the article, published in the journal Science Advances, the greatest danger is actively developing project of China “One belt and one road”.
All living tigers (there are more than 6,500 individuals) belong to a single species Panthera tigris and its six subspecies — Amur, Bengal, Indochinese, Malay, and Chinese sumatrana. These predators live in 13 Asian countries, including Bangladesh, India, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam and. To save important 76 natural landscapes, the area which since 2006 has decreased by 40 percent. Unfortunately, not all these landscapes are conservation areas: China, Laos, and Bangladesh reserves for the conservation of tigers is not in principle.
The main reason for the loss of habitat has been active road construction – it promotes the penetration of man in hard to reach places, that the presence of roads quickly colonized. This is followed by the illegal exploitation of natural resources, harvesting and poaching. The appearance of people deters ungulates, which constitute the main prey of tigers, and also leads to the death of raptors from collisions with vehicles. Often the roads are crushed, and differentiate the elements of the landscape that isolate populations from each other and makes it impossible to exchange genes. Just around tiger reserves already built 132 thousand kilometers of roads, and by 2050 it will be added 24 thousand.