By 2050, when around 15.5 million miles (25 million kilometers) of new roads will likely be constructed worldwide, with 90% of them through rich ecosystems and biodiversity, a project now underway in Costa Rica may provide guidance about how to protect wildlife. Panthera’s Wild Cats Friendly Road Project, coordinated by wildlife researcher Daniela Araya-Gamboa, aims to reduce the number of wild cats killed in road accidents. In the past 10 years, at least 461 wild cats have perished on Costa Rican roads. The researchers track areas where wildlife often cannot successfully navigate the roads, walking highways with safety gear and reflective vests in morning or evening and sharing data so mitigation measures can be implemented. This could mean retrofitting culverts, building road underpasses, or even arboreal wildlife crossings. “We cannot continue to count the dead; action to mitigate this issue must be taken. That is the objective of this project: conservation action,” says Araya-Gamboa.

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