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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2017

Railway Ecology

  • Provides a unique overview of the impacts of railways on biodiversity

  • Presents international case studies on wildlife populations in Europe, Asia, and North America

  • Demonstrates how railway ecology plays a major role in transport systems and reducing carbon footprints

  • Includes supplementary material:

  • Includes supplementary material:

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (19 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxx
  2. Review

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 1-1
    2. Railway Ecology

      • Luís Borda-de-Água, Rafael Barrientos, Pedro Beja, Henrique M. Pereira
      Pages 3-9Open Access
    3. Current Knowledge on Wildlife Mortality in Railways

      • Sara M. Santos, Filipe Carvalho, António Mira
      Pages 11-22Open Access
    4. Methods to Monitor and Mitigate Wildlife Mortality in Railways

      • Filipe Carvalho, Sara M. Santos, António Mira, Rui Lourenço
      Pages 23-42Open Access
    5. Railways as Barriers for Wildlife: Current Knowledge

      • Rafael Barrientos, Luís Borda-de-Água
      Pages 43-64Open Access
    6. Aliens on the Move: Transportation Networks and Non-native Species

      • Fernando Ascensão, César Capinha
      Pages 65-80Open Access
    7. Railway Disturbances on Wildlife: Types, Effects, and Mitigation Measures

      • Priscila Silva Lucas, Ramon Gomes de Carvalho, Clara Grilo
      Pages 81-99Open Access
  3. Case Studies

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 101-101
    2. Bird Collisions in a Railway Crossing a Wetland of International Importance (Sado Estuary, Portugal)

      • Carlos Godinho, João T. Marques, Pedro Salgueiro, Luísa Catarino, Cândida Osório de Castro, António Mira et al.
      Pages 103-115Open Access
    3. Cross-scale Changes in Bird Behavior Around a High Speed Railway: From Landscape Occupation to Infrastructure Use and Collision Risk

      • Juan E. Malo, Eladio L. García de la Morena, Israel Hervás, Cristina Mata, Jesús Herranz
      Pages 117-134Open Access
    4. Assessing Bird Exclusion Effects in a Wetland Crossed by a Railway (Sado Estuary, Portugal)

      • Carlos Godinho, Luísa Catarino, João T. Marques, António Mira, Pedro Beja
      Pages 179-195Open Access
    5. Evaluating the Impacts of a New Railway on Shorebirds: A Case Study in Central Portugal (Aveiro Lagoon)

      • Tiago Múrias, David Gonçalves, Ricardo Jorge Lopes
      Pages 197-214Open Access
    6. Habitat Fragmentation by Railways as a Barrier to Great Migrations of Ungulates in Mongolia

      • Takehiko Y. Ito, Badamjav Lhagvasuren, Atsushi Tsunekawa, Masato Shinoda
      Pages 229-246Open Access
    7. Railway Ecology—Experiences and Examples in the Czech Republic

      • Z. Keken, T. Kušta
      Pages 247-260Open Access
    8. Wildlife Deterrent Methods for Railways—An Experimental Study

      • Andreas Seiler, Mattias Olsson
      Pages 277-291Open Access

About this book

This book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license.

This book provides a unique overview of the impacts of railways on biodiversity, integrating the existing knowledge on the ecological effects of railways on wildlife, identifying major knowledge gaps and research directions and presenting the emerging field of railway ecology.

The book is divided into two major parts: Part one offers a general review of the major conceptual and theoretical principles of railway ecology. The chapters consider the impacts of railways on wildlife populations and concentrate on four major topics: mortality, barrier effects, species invasions and disturbances (ranging from noise to chemical pollution). Part two focuses on a number of case studies from Europe, Asia and North America written by an international group of experts.


  • Railroad ecology
  • Railway ecology and carbon footprints
  • Environmental impacts of railways
  • Railway transportation and impacts on wildlife
  • Landscape planning and railway engineering
  • Efficiency and sustainability of transportation
  • Railways and biodiversity
  • Animal casualties on rails
  • Open Access
  • urban geography and urbanism


“Railway Ecology is well written and provides the reader with an interesting, succinct description of the current state of knowledge concerning railway ecology. ... I highly recommend this book for those interested in the effects of any type of linear infrastructure.” (Sean P. Boyle, Biological Conversation, January, 2018)

Editors and Affiliations

  • CIBIO/InBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Universidade do Porto, Vairão, Portugal

    Luís Borda-de-Água, Pedro Beja

  • CEABN/InBIO, Centro de Ecologia Aplicada “Professor Baeta Neves”, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal

    Rafael Barrientos, Henrique Miguel Pereira

About the editors

Luís Borda-de-Água is a researcher in ecology and conservation biology at CIBIO-InBIO, University of Porto (Portugal), collaborating with the Infraestructuras de Portugal Biodiversity Chair. He completed his PhD in ecology at Imperial College, London, UK, having previously studied electrical engineering and physics. His background has led him to work mainly on theoretical and computational aspects of ecology. Presently he divides his research activity between studies on global biodiversity patterns and the impacts of linear infrastructures on wildlife.  

Pedro Beja is a senior researcher in ecology and conservation biology at CIBIO-InBIO, University of Porto (Portugal), where he has held the EDP Chair in Biodiversity since 2012, and leads the ApplEcol—Applied Population and Community Ecology research group. He has over 25 years of professional experience, and has worked in public administration, private environmental consultancy, academia, and research institutions. His main research interests are in the area of biodiversity conservation in human-dominated landscapes, including agricultural, forest and freshwater systems. He has published over one hundred scientific papers on a variety of topics related to the conservation and management of biodiversity in Europe, Africa and South America.  

Rafael Barrientos is a conservation biologist who received his PhD in 2009. He has a background in the impacts of linear infrastructures on wildlife, including roadkills, collision with power lines and the genetics of fragmented populations. He has participated in several management projects, for instance from the Spanish National Parks Autonomous Agency, OAPN. He has also participated in purely research projects in Spanish institutions like the Arid Zones Experimental Station, the National Museum of Natural History or the University of Castilla-La Mancha. Since 2015 he has held a postdoctoral position at the Infraestructuras de Portugal Biodiversity Chair at CIBIO-InBIO, Universidade do Porto (Portugal). 

Henrique Pereira is a leading expert on global biodiversity change. He has worked both as a researcher and as a practitioner, having served as the director of Peneda-Gerês National Park and as the coordinator of the Portugal Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Since 2013, he has been the Professor of Biodiversity Conservation at iDiv—German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and invited professor at InBio, Universidade do Porto (Portugal). He is the Chair of the Biodiversity Observation Network of the Group on Earth Observations and co-chair of the Expert Group on Scenarios and Models from the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. He has published over one hundred scientific papers and reports on biodiversity issues

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Railway Ecology

  • Editors: Luís Borda-de-Água, Rafael Barrientos, Pedro Beja, Henrique Miguel Pereira

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Earth and Environmental Science, Earth and Environmental Science (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-319-57495-0Published: 02 October 2017

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-319-86178-4Published: 10 August 2018

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-57496-7Published: 18 September 2017

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXX, 320

  • Number of Illustrations: 25 b/w illustrations, 28 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Conservation Biology, Applied Ecology, Biodiversity, Urban Sociology, Environmental Sciences

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)