How Road Ecology Is Shaping the Future of Our Planet

27 October 2023

Ben Goldfarb (Author)


An eye-opening and witty account of the global ecological transformations wrought by roads, from an award-winning author

Some 40 million miles of roadways encircle the earth, but we tend to regard them only as infrastructure for human convenience. In Crossings, Ben Goldfarb delves into the new science of road ecology to explore how roads have transformed our world. Millions of animals are killed by cars each day in the US alone, and roads fragment wildlife populations into inbred clusters, disrupt migration for creatures from antelope to salmon, allow invasive plants to spread and even bend the arc of evolution itself. But road ecologists are also seeking innovative solutions: Goldfarb meets with conservationists building bridges for mountain lions and tunnels for toads, engineers deconstructing logging roads, and citizens working to undo the havoc highways have wreaked upon cities. A sweeping, spirited and timely investigation into how humans have altered the natural world, Crossings also shows us how to create a better future for all living beings.


"An eye-opening road trip that spans continents to show how paved roads, seen as markers of civilisation, disrupt the natural world... This is a rare, beautifully written book, which tells us hard truths about roads, cars and life on Earth, but still manages to make us feel positive about the road ahead. " — Vijaysree Venkatraman, New Scientist

"[A] wide-ranging and absorbing account. " — Bill McKibben, The New York Review of Books

"Fascinating and compassionate. " — Emily Raboteau, The New York Times Book Review

"[A] swift and winding ride... Many readers came away from Goldfarb's first book, Eager, as newly minted beaver fans; don't be surprised if you finish Crossings as an evangelist for road ecology." — Tess Joosse, Scientific American

"Goldfarb is perceptive about how roads tangle animals together with humans... Crossings is well-paced and vivid, an engaging account of a potentially dull subject. " — Timothy Farrington, Wall Street Journal

"Whether he is writing about wallabies or butterflies, beavers or anteaters, Ben Goldfarb approaches our fellow animals with delighted curiosity and rare perception. In Crossings, he chronicles their epic struggles within our global network of roads and hi" — Michelle Nijhuis, author of Beloved Beasts

"A brilliantly panoptic look at our planet’s sprawling network of roads: what’s wrong with them, how they got that way, and how they could be set right. Precise in detail but vast in scale, Goldfarb's storytelling carries echoes of Michael Pollan and John McPhee, but with a wry humor that is uniquely his own. He makes it clear that if we are serious about ending the extinction crisis, we must first learn to care about the unnatural disaster that is our road system." — Robert Moor, best-selling author of On Trails: An Exploration

"Like some David Attenborough of the asphalt, Ben Goldfarb has written a fascinating guide to understanding the wilder side of roads, both symbols of freedom and harbingers of unnatural selection.”" — Tom Vanderbilt, best-selling author of Traffic

"A truly important and landmark book on a subject whose full impacts continue to be disregarded or underestimated in considering conservation efforts. Crossings is a moving, compassionate, and indispensable guide to navigating the issue of wildlife" — Jeff VanderMeer, best-selling author of the Southern Reach Trilogy

"Ben Goldfarb is the kind of gonzo environmental journalist Hunter Thompson would love. He goes everywhere, interviews everyone, pulls his weight alongside biologists, engineers, and road-kill salvagers, then writes compellingly about all of it. Crossings, his meditation on the ecological devastation roads and highways inflict—and on the very clever responses from humans and other creatures that road life demands—is an absolute shining star of a book." — Dan Flores, best-selling author of Coyote America and Wild New World



160 x 239 mm • 384 pages


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