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Flourishing Things: Wildlife Corridors

Urbanization and agriculture, both driven by the presence of humans, are two of the largest threats to biodiversity and wildlife. As human presence increases, natural habitats decrease in size. By altering the natural landscape with buildings, roads, and agricultural lands, the habitats of native species are altered or destroyed, and species are displaced. The green spaces that are left within cities are often small and disconnected. This is called habitat fragmentation. Fragmented habitats make it difficult for species to migrate and eventually results in species loss. Wildlife corridors, stretches of habitat that provide protected routes, help to increase connectivity between green spaces. These strategic areas of protected habitat are critical to help preserve biodiversity.

Banff National Park makes use of multiple wildlife corridors in the valley bottoms of the Rocky Mountains. These areas are critical for movement among wildlife species as well as human activity such as roads, buildings and human trails. As a result, a large network of corridors was created to facilitate the safe movement of large carnivorous species throughout Banff. These species include bears, cougars, and wolves which have high movement patterns. Although the corridors were designed with these species in mind, smaller species are also benefited by the increase of connectivity throughout the park.

The Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) is another important wildlife corridor which is located between India and Nepal. The TAL is a 12 million acre subtropical corridor which is inhabited by a vast range of species such as elephants, tigers, and rhinos. Eleven different protected areas, such as grasslands and river valleys, are encompassed within the TAL. An environmental conservation programme is run by local communities that live within the TAL. These programs are mainly run by women who oversee sustainable management of the forests and resources.

Worldwide Fund for Nature – Terai Arc Landscape

Parks Canada – Banff National Park

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