Do conservation corridors work?

Habitat loss and fragmentation are leading threats to wildlife. About 14 percent of the earth’s land surface has been set aside to conserve biodiversity. Unfortunately, these natural areas by themselves are inadequate for conserving biodiversity, especially if they become “islands” of habitat within a sea of disturbed or converted land. Thus, recent conservation efforts — costing millions of dollars — have focused on establishing conservation corridors, typically 500 m to 50 km long, between habitat preserves. Many studies have documented that animals move through short (~100 m) corridors passing through a contrasting natural land cover type. However, few studies have tested whether conservation corridors (long, wide swaths passing through human-dominated land uses) provide long-term functional connectivity for wildlife.

We intend to test, on a global scale, two questions:

  • Do conservation corridors work?
  • What are the characteristics of corridors that do work?

To do this, we need your help!

We have developed this website for two reasons. First, we want to provide information about our project. Second and more important, we want you to help us identify corridors with characteristics (length, width, adjacent land use) similar to conservation corridors. We will accept study sites in any part of the world. So even if you don’t know of a study site, please tell your friends and colleagues who might about us.

Update May, 2013 Social Scientist Collaborators Sought:Learn More Here.

To learn more about this project, please download our paper:Desperately seeking stable 50-year-old landscapes with patches and long, wide corridors.

You can also read this recent PLoS Biology publication about our study:PLoS Biology Desperately Seeking.

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  • Suggest a Study Site

    Do you have a corridor that we should know about? Click here to find out. If you are the first person to suggest a landscape we eventually use in our study, you will be eligible for an honorarium or finder’s fee of $250 USD.

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    E-mail docorridorswork@gmail.com and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

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