Lecturer: Xiaohua Yu
Bio: Chair of Agricultural Economics in Developing and Transition Countries
Abstract: Fragmentation and destruction of ecosystems due to highways are key threats to habitat quality and biodiversity. In this article, we develop a theoretical framework and use a dynamic spatial panel data model to estimate how Austrian highway construction after 1968 has impacted the populations of roe deer, red deer and wild boar. The results indicate that a growing highway density leads to decreasing populations of roe deer and wild boar in their local district, contrasted with increasing populations in neighboring districts. Red deer populations were relatively insensitive to highway construction. Positive population effects in neighboring districts can be explained by the reduction of competition, disease transmission, and road kill. The results have important policy implications for Environmental Impact Assessments of infrastructure construction, particularly in the early stages of planning.