Wildlife corridors allow wild animals to safely move from one location to another. ©From the video “Wildlife Corridors.”

Food, water, shelter and the freedom to travel—these are the fundamental needs of wildlife. In fact, according to the National Wildlife Federation, for many species that last-listed essential could mean the difference between survival and extinction.

Our open spaces, however, are increasingly being chopped up and fragmented. Expanding human developments—such as energy extraction operations, fences, roads and residential sprawl—are to blame. Wildlife populations are becoming more and more isolated within confined boundaries. If we want to ensure that our protected areas do not become islands of habitat, any wildlife conservation efforts will have to include the establishment of corridors to connect these tracts of land. And as climate change rapidly advances, these corridors will become even more critical as animals are forced to migrate across the landscape in order to find new, suitable habitats.

This wildlife corridor in Brisbane, Australia, connects areas of natural habitat to Karawatha Forest Park, one of the largest areas of remnant bushland within the city. ©Brisbane City Council, flickr

This need for corridors has even led to evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson’s Half Earth theory. Whether you believe his concept could work or not, we have already completed some pathways that make it easier for wildlife to expand into other regions, facilitating a healthy gene flow and greater diversity.

Watch the video below, which shows pictures of wildlife corridors from around the world. These beautiful “highways” vary greatly in size, shape and composition and are as diverse as the wildlife populations that travel over, under, around and through them.

Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,