Field Notes

wildlife corridors

Wildlife Corridors. What & Why?

wildlife corridors

Pronghorn sheep. Photo: Chip Carroon

New Bill Introduced Supporting Wildlife Corridors

Great news for wildlife! A new bill has been introduced (12-6-18) in both the House & Senate to help animals migrate using wildlife corridors. The Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2018 would help improve habitat by helping to connect animal migration routes on federal lands. The bill also provides funding for linking non-federal lands.

What are Wildlife Corridors?

But what are wildlife corridors and why are they important? We have to admit, we have not thought much about them until recently. But we have learned how critical they are to helping our animals (and plants) move around on our planet. Wildlife corridors are connections between similar pieces of land that allow animals to move back & forth or migrate. The land masses may be separated by structures, roads or other land masses. Without corridors, animals can become isolated. They may not find food or even mates which reduces genetic diversity. Or in worst cases, the animals become extinct. Uh oh.

As we found out with the Carolina northern flying squirrel, the squirrels need help crossing a newly built highway. Without assistance crossing the road, all sorts of bad things happened but luckily there is a happy ending . Read their story on our “Cool Animals-Flying Squirrels”.

What Animals Benefit?

All sorts of animals (and even plants) benefit from wildlife corridors. Bears, panthers, and pronghorn sheep all need to be able to move long distances in order to survive.

wildlife corridors

Florida panther. Photo: Justin Shoemaker/USFWS

Butterflies, frogs, salmon and many bird species often use corridors to migrate. Read a great summary of the benefits from Wildlands Network here.

And what about plants?  Back in 2006, a 6-year study found plants, especially native plants, benefit from wildlife corridors. One example: a study shows bluebirds disperse more plant seeds when corridors exist than without them. The movement of the birds is increased with the help of corridors, thereby helping the plants. Very cool.

Support for the Bill

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) and Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced the bill with wide support from conservation organizations. Rep Beyer stated, “With roughly one in five animal and plant species in the U.S. at risk of extinction due to habitat loss and fragmentation, one of the simplest yet most effective things we can do is to provide them ample opportunity to move across lands and waters”. Wow, now this is progress if the bill gets passed. Let’s all do our part to help ensure it gets enacted.

Many conservation organizations are doing their share. Read their letter of support for the bill here.

So What Can You Do?

Write your local Congress representatives asking them to support the introduced legislation.

Write Rep Beyer & Sen Udall. Thank them for their introduction of The Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2018. Here are their addresses.

The Honorable Tom Udall

531 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Don Beyer

431 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515 Re: The Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2018

Make a donation to one of the conservation organizations supporting the bill. Just be sure & do your homework on the organization first. Learn some tips in our post on Join a Conservation Organization

And let us know of other ideas you have so we can share & most importantly, act. Let’s make a difference together.

  •  
  •  
  • 21
  •