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Study: Nearly 15,000 miles of new roads to be built in tiger habitat by 2050

Nations are expected to build nearly 15,000 miles of new roads through tiger habitat by mid-century, driven by major infrastructure projects such as China’s Belt and Road Initiative, according to a new analysis published in the journal Science Advances. The study also found that the 83,300 miles of roads that already cross through tiger habitat are decreasing the population and its prey by as much as 20 percent.

The research, led by ecologists at the University of Michigan, examined global road datasets and forecasts for new infrastructure to calculate road density, distance to the nearest road, and species abundance across the tiger’s 450,000-square-mile range in Asia. Just 4,000 tigers exist in the wild today, most of them living in South Asia, where development and population pressures are mounting rapidly.

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