Permeabization of infrastructures
Fragmentation of habitats by paved roads and railways causes, in one hand, the destruction and degradation of the area and, in the other, the fragmentation of well-preserved areas (decreasing biodiversity). Moreover, these structures generate direct mortality in fauna. The earliest systematic records of lberian ynx road accidents were collected since 1979, by the Biological Station of Doñana (EBD). In the last decade,monitoring teams of the LIFE-Lynx team have continued to collecting road kills data. Mortality caused by car accidents are the most detectable cause of mortality suffered by the Iberian lynx. Thus, road kills appear to be the main cause of mortality in the species, but, when you remove the bias detected by analyzing the causes of death only in-collared individuals, the incidence of road kills in the Iberian lynx is significantly lower than the natural causes of death (mainly diseases and fighting).
Since the 70's, launched in Doñana Almonte-Marismas Plan and the empowerment of the Urbanisation of Matalascañas, initiates the creation of the existing network of roads in the area. Whereas it has been kept the same number of paved roads since the eighties, the factors that could cause an increase in wildlife violations are traffic density and speed of vehicles. The IMD (Index in vehicles / day) collected by the Department of Public Works and Housing of the Government of Andalusia, show an increase in traffic of more than one order of magnitude between 80 and today. The traffic speed has increased the quality and condition of the pavement of roads and improving the vehicles themselves. Considering the increased density and speed of traffic in Doñana, it is reasonable to think that the abuses of Iberian lynx should have increased markedly in recent decades, but this has not happened, probably because of the actions undertaken in the roads.
In Doñana, the first performances defragmentation paved roads for the Iberian lynx were in the 90's. Since then, the Ministries of Environment and Public Works of the Junta de Andalucia have continued to reduce the impact of the abuse in the population of Iberian lynx. In the previous LIFE-Lynx (02-06), there were many actions that apparently had a very positive impact on reducing the impact of abuse on the population. This project is funded and accurately several stretches of paved roads in small villages around the northwestern sector of Doñana and to reduce the speed bumps: part of the HF-6244 that runs through the Natural Park and the paved road that connects this path with " El Villar "in Bonares. On the way Rociana placed two wildlife crossings and adjusted the prefabricated frame that existed in the Arroyo del Higuerón a side bench. Since then, none of these sections were detected violations of Iberian lynx, despite being a road often crossed by residents and dispersants.
In 2004 the Ministry of Agriculture completed the adaptations of the Way of Villamanrique de la Condesa to A-483, which after numerous bug was one of the tracks with more preventive measures. There are 7 steps of wildlife, some of them with two prefabricated frames to extend the crossing space, enclosure channeled to the steps in its entirety and bumps and roundabouts to control speed. Since its implementation has not been more outrage and wildlife crossings are often used by residents and dispersing lynx.
Iberian lynx crossing an underpass in the Villamanrique-El Rocío road
To continue reducing the negative effect of mortality on the population road kills of Iberian lynx in Doñana-Aljarafe In the present LIFE-Wildcat has continued to work very significantly in defragmentation road in the area. Currently, the two Iberian lynx populations have a different degree of fragmentation. In Sierra Morena, the large size and good quality habitat patches make the impact of fragmentation is low. There are few towns and therefore there are few paved roads and have little existing traffic. The speed that develops in them is relatively low for the terrain and the lack of shoulders. Doñana Ajarafe, however, has an extensive network of communication on level ground, allowing the straight paths that can develop and build high-speed roads with big shoulders. The dense road network compresses small areas of uneven quality habitat, which individually do not have the size needed to maintain viable populations. In the last 30 years, the development of the tourist area of ??Matalascañas and Mazagón the inflow to El Rocio, including the Doñana Natural Area have increased traffic on the roads, some on more than one order of magnitude. These are the reasons why the project has focused LIFE_Lince especially in this population.