High Speed Rail -- Identifying, Analyzing, and Mitigating Impacts to Ecological Connectivity and Species Movement

Focus Area

Wildlife & Ecosystems


Natural Resources






Under 1 year

Research Idea Scope

Nationally we have raised awareness and action to address ecological impacts of roads upon wildlife, particularly means to avoid and reduce wildlife-vehicular collisions.  This is done by identifying and protecting/avoiding intact habitats, and by mitigating habitat fragmentation effects of new and existing roadways using wildlife crossings with appropriate fencing, and other strategies.  We have made relatively little progress addressing these impacts from rail.  High Speed Rail (HSR) poses an even greater threat to wildlife attempting to move safely within the landscape.  Before major new HSR infrastructure is constructed, we must address this issue to ensure that new habitat fragmentation is avoided, and to ensure safe passage for species movement where HSR will bisect habitats.

Urgency and Payoff

Successful research would provide the knowledge, awareness, tools and methods to avoid, minimize, and adequately mitigate impacts of HSR to safe wildlife movement and ecosystems integrity.

Suggested By

Elaine Somers, US EPA

[email protected]