Wildlife Corridors

Overall, terrestrial wildlife corridors provide habitat connection and reduce fragmentation and therefore are important for landscape-scale wildlife conservation. With planning, nature trails can be incorporated within or along wildlife corridors. However, there is controversy about the efficacy of wildlife corridors, disease transmission, means to protect, and considerations for adjacent landowners. Therefore, there are some basic principals, such as location and compatible land uses, to consider when planning or designating wildlife corridors.

For example, it may not be valuable to facilitate movement of predators such as raccoons or non-native armadillos into a designated gopher tortoise preserve. Another example is a black bear corridor through a development where individuals may be attracted to garbage containers or funneled to a road where they have no means to cross safely. For these reasons, wildlife corridors must be designated where wildlife will be protected including areas outside of a particular property. This is why it is vital for biologists and planners to evaluate each project in a regional landscape context and consider compatible land and water uses within the vicinity.

Wildlife corridors can be identified during the map review and GIS review processes. For example, you can identify a large forested area along a river or stream, considered a riparian wildlife corridor on an aerial map. A named swamp or land ridge on a topographic map may indicate a wildlife corridor. A series of conservation lands identified during the GIS review may also indicate a wildlife corridor. Preserving these areas helps, not only wildlife, but also the economic value of the area for eco-tourism and natural landscaping.

Suggested Reading

Terrestrial wildlife corridors as conservation tools

Landscape approach to wildlife movement

Principals of wildlife corridor design

Debates over the efficacy of wildlife corridors

Land corridors in the southeast