A global assessment of roadless areas

A global assessment of roadless areas
Monika Teresa Hoffmann, Pierre L. Ibisch, Lisa Freudenberger, Stefan Kreft, Guy Pe’er, Vassiliki Kati, Peter R. Hobson, Kriton Arsenis, Nuria Selva


Last modified: 2014-06-01


We present a detailed and comprehensive global assessment of roadless areas based on open-access road information (OpenStreetMap). For the purpose of this study, we review the size of the road-effect zone reported in the literature for a wide range of road ecological effects. Roadless areas are identified by establishing 1-km buffers along all existing roads and mapping the resulting polygons. These polygons representing the remaining roadless areas on Earth are evaluated according to their size and the quality of their territories. Protected area coverage and degree of strict protection are analyzed, as well as attributes such as ecosystem functionality, species richness or biomes/anthromes. Accuracy of data is discussed taking into account different data sources. The results will be used for a global interactive assessment and a campaign for roadless area conservation.



roadless areas, OpenStreetMap, global analysis,