GR: Wildlife corridors are elements of healthy wildlife habitat. As part of the Half for Nature movement, they would be broad longitudinal swaths of our continents and oceans. However, we should have developed them a century ago. Today, farms, cities, roads, and power-transmission corridors make it impossible to create uninterrupted corridors without dams and bottlenecks imposed by human developments. Still, we can encourage such efforts for they are like sweet music to sustain our spirits as the ship sinks.
“This week, Representative Don Beyer introduced the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2016 to begin reversing the tide of habitat loss and fragmentation for U.S. fish, wildlife, and plant species.
“Wildlife corridors are stretches of habitat that allow species to move from one area of habitat to another for such purposes as accessing resources, establishing new territories, shifting ranges, promoting gene flow, and adapting to the impacts of a changing climate. Corridors have been successfully implemented around the world and throughout the U.S., yet current law provides limited requirements for land and water managers to address species’ connectivity needs.
“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,” said Rep. Beyer.
“The Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act establishes a National Wildlife Corridors System to ensure that species are able to move between habitats less encumbered by obstacles. The bill directs key Federal land and water management agencies to work with each other, as well as with States, tribes, local governments, and private landowners, to develop and manage national wildlife corridors in accordance with existing laws and the habitat connectivity needs of native species.
“Paired with a new public-facing geographic information system (GIS) database of corridors and modest additional funding to the key agencies, the National Wildlife Corridors System promises the framework to strengthen fish, wildlife, and plant species populations, while at the same time improving recreational opportunities and roadway safety for people. –Congressman Don Beyer (Read more: Beyer Introduces Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act To Protect Biodiversity)