Wildlife Connections

Wildlife Connections

Think of a hallway leading from point A to point B. Ecological corridors provide wildlife with vegetation and habitat necessary for living things to move -- or migrate -- between, say, breeding grounds in the Arctic Circle and winter roosting spots in Brazil. Some corridors are efficient, clear, and straight. Others meander across various sorts of habitat. Conservationists study these migratory pathways in order to understand the needs of the species, the needs of the intervening habitat, and how to preserve the viability of the connection between two places.

The concept of corridors also connects the conservation and sustainability movements. Large-scale sustainable planners often discuss their ecological concerns within the framework of green infrastructure. While the different inflections and settings have caused some confusion about the phrase, green infrastructure generally refers to the interconnected network of open spaces, natural areas, and protected areas – our parks, greenways, wetlands, forests, grasslands, and, in some cases, farmlands – which provide important provisioning and regulating functions upon which human communities depend.

More About Wildlife Connections

  • Connectivity 101

    Conservation scientists' top recommendation for counteracting the negative consequences of habitat loss, fragmentation, and climate change on wildlife is to maintain landscape connectivity capable of sustaining natural patterns of wildlife movement and allowing adaptation. Gary Tabor and Katie Meiklejohn provide the details.

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  • Clarifying the Terminology

    Confusion about how best to implement connectivity and employ habitat corridors stems in part from a lack of clarity and consensus about the precise meaning of various terms. Gary Tabor and Katie Meiklejohn here synthesize the various uses in hope of connecting speakers talking about connectivity.

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  • Corridor Initiatives

    Biologically and politically complex as well as full of unknowns that beg experimentation, some corridor initiatives start as small GIS pilot studies while others build on broad international collaborations. Explore these illustrative examples of corridor initiatives around the U.S.

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  • Corridor Design

    Protecting existing corridors and establishing new ones increases movement between habitat patches, but recent research suggests that the success of these corridors varies. Learn how the focused planning efforts of ecologists, land planners, and transportation authorities are establishing better understanding of what constitutes effective corridor design.

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  • Get Connected to Corridors

    With the impact of habitat fragmentation now magnified by climate change, corridor identification and protection is critical. Learn how scientists, politicians, and other citizens are involved in meaningful ways how you can get involved.

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  • Corridor Data Resources

    Identifying and protecting corridors requires data: what species move where, at what time of year, and in what numbers? Improving the accuracy and availability of information will lead to policymakers, advocacy groups, and scientists to make better decisions. Have a look at the publicly accessible data resources on the topic here.

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