Traffic as a danger to tigers? A century ago more than 100,000 tigers ranged across Asia. It was from the India to the Russian Far East. Today they are endangered. They say there are only about 4,000 tigers left in the wild. The most important threats are habitat loss and degradation. But also illegal hunting and too less prey.
Conservation efforts made tiger numbers rebound in some countries. In Nepal, for example. Tiger population has nearly doubled from 121 nine years ago to 235 in 2018. However, a road-building explosion in Asia could undo this progress.
Land planners and conservation scientists need to know much more. How do tigers respond to roads and railways? It might give answers on ways to safeguard these animals. This information is important for Nepal. Nepal is one of the least-developed countries in the world. It is working to expand its economy. This would raise people out of poverty. Roads and railways are spreading rapidly. But this goes through forests and grasslands where tigers live.
There is hardly research on how transportation networks threaten tigers. The few studies that exist however show strong effects. I.e. in Russia vehicle collisions caused 1 in every 12 deaths of tigers. This was monitored from 1992 to 2005. In China, tigers were five times more likely to occupy areas away from roads. This was at least 2.5 miles (4 kms) away from roads than they were to be found near roads.