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The emerging economy of Indonesia has triggered rapid infrastructure development that threatens ecological communities, including within protected areas. The national parks of Indonesia are renowned for their high levels of biodiversity and endemism, yet the impacts of road development within these parks remains understudied. We conducted road mortality surveys along a 21.8-km section of paved highway that bisects Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park in Sulawesi, Indonesia from January to April 2018. We documented wildlife carcasses during morning and afternoon surveys and identified hotspots of road mortality for amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. A total of 790 carcasses were observed during 16 surveys, amounting to 2.3 carcasses km−1, one of the highest levels reported for Asia. Wildlife recorded during our surveys represented 40 taxa, of which 15% are endemic to the Wallacea region. We documented two hotspots of road mortality for each major taxonomic group. We propose that mitigation measures be implemented at the largest hotspot for amphibians, one overlapping hotspot for amphibians and reptiles, and one overlapping hotspot for birds and mammals, for a total of three areas targeted for mitigation along this 21.8-km section of highway. We recommend the implementation of mitigation measures including highway undercrossings with fencing, reduced speeds with associated signage, and highway lighting at these three hotspot locations to protect the diverse and unique fauna in this national park.
Ryan M. Healey, Jessica R. Atutubo, Mirza Dikari Kusrini, Lesley Howard, Felicia Page, Noah Hallisey, Nancy E. Karraker. Road Mortality Threatens Endemic Species in a National Park in Sulawesi, Indonesia, Global Ecology and Conservation, Volume 24, 2020, e01281, ISSN 2351-9894, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2020.e01281.
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