Habitat Fragmentation and the Impact of the HS2 Trainline on the Environment Essay
Continuous land is being divided up into smaller segments, which is severing migration pathways. This includes protected areas, even though there is legal protection to conserve the habitat and the species that are present there. This is causing population declines of migrating species which rely on the habitat to gain genetic diversity within their populations. The main cause for large scale fragmentation is to meet and improve human needs, where with the growing population, there is an increasing demand to provide agricultural produce and shelter. The High Speed 2 (Hs2) development is going to provide people with faster travel time and additional seating when travelling, which are not needs that are essential for human survival, and therefore it could be argued that the development should not be prioritised ahead of biodiversity conservation. However, the encouragement of the use of trains for travel would lead to a decline in the number of roads being built in future years, therefore promoting a sustainable future. Mitigation techniques have been proposed by wildlife charities, which incorporates research that highlights the significance of fragmentation, and ways in which the problem can be mitigated using restoration and green bridges. Yet most causes of fragmentation in developing countries is due to them not having an alternative way to generate income, and so the appropriate mitigation here is to prevent further destruction of habitat. In order to have biodiversity, and to avoid declines in human needs, any land use change should include wildlife mitigation, and protected areas should have successful legal protection placed upon them from unessential development, for a balanced ethical matrix, and a sustainable environment.