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 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,
Wow, I did not know these corridors exist! Thanks!
Candice, this is a great topic… and I love the video. I’m going to highlight your post in my “animal roundup” on our Animal-World newsletter – next Friday – a bit behind this week:) Thanks for sharing!
The wildlife corridors also look wonderful–many more are probably needed.
This IS a fascinating concept, and one that certainly makes sense to me. The Half Earth theory with a network of corridors brings hope.
But then, are we considering the population size of wildlife area and their movement redius as we costruct these coridors? It would be extremely interesting to see a clip indicating the frequency of use of such corridors before we can copy and apply them elsewhere in the world.. Of course an interesting initiative worthy of compliments:-)
Fabulous piece…thanks for sharing !
Great video. Actually, in Canada’s Banff National Park between the east gate and Yoho National Park, there are now 6 wildlife overpasses and 38 UNDERpasses (missing from this video entirely) – some species much prefer one sort over the other. To quote from the Parks Canada website:
“Research has shown that grizzly bears, elk, moose and deer prefer wildlife crossings that are high, wide and short in length, including overpasses. Black bears and cougars seem to prefer long, low and narrow crossings.”
Parks Canada studies their use with remote still and video cameras as well as “hair-snagging” barbed wire, which can allow genetic identification of individuals or family groups.
Brilliant! Wildlife corridors are so important for connecting fragmented populations, and reducing collisions between animals and vehicles.
YES.We need to do something about what is happening……………..
A wonderful concept Terry
Very ingenious and fascinating. These countries that have taken these enlightened steps to build their corridors deserve commendation. Sadly my observation is that, all these corridors are found in the developed and economically advanced part of the world. The fate of highly celebrated wildebeest migratory route like Masai Mara – Serengeti is still hanging in the balance as it is currently the object of litigation between Conservation NGOs and the Tanzanian Government in the East African Court of Justice.
Elsewhere in Africa, huge tracts of nature reserves and other wildlife habitats are being encroached upon,, dissected and dismembered by development, particularly the by construction of highways. This is taking place at a rate that is becoming very damaging to breeding populations of wildlife, particularly to elephants. Thus. the numbers of many species are becoming not viable at all. Unless something is done fast, only the developed countries like Sweden, Canada, France, Germany would have viable populations of significant wildlife left.
You have shown only man-made corridors for animals.In jungles there exist many natural “wildlife corridors” used by different animals for their annual migration. In one instance they have found elephants clear bushes,break branches of trees etc and make a corridor,deers follow that path,then tigers/leopards follow the deers to catch them. If man build structures or divert rivers blocking the corridors.destroy their food they get wild and attack humans.Natural corridors were chosen depending on food & water for animals.
Ir is wonderful to have continuous natural areas but so often they are cut through by human transport corridors which can reduce the viability of many animal populations. Having overpasses / underpasses to facilitate animal movement is very important. Some worries: how do animals locate these places? with a high volume of many species of animal moving through these passes, how can they be maintained with enough food and shelter? and, what is to stop predatory animals following their natural instincts and eating the creatures that are concentrated into these areas?
Also consider caribou migration routes being preserved by lifting the Trans-Alaska Pipeline overhead.
Time to re-wild and re-forest the planet….then create human corridors with tunnels and bridges over natural animal corridors!
I had to look up the half earth theory – “Renowned Biologist E O Wilson: Half the World Should be Set Aside for Animals”. Inspiring examples of “animal bridges” video. In my area I have not seen one article or radio talk show mention of attempts of the interstate or state roads trying to preserve contiguous game lands/natural areas. New roads always seem chop up existing woodlands into checker board patterns and subsequent great increase in road kill.
Yes, the link to my Half Earth article was in this story; the third link in the post. (https://www.nathab.com/blog/half-earth-could-setting-aside-50-percent-of-the-world-for-wildlife-really-work/) I had written about it on September 23. Thanks for commenting!