Landscape Connectivity

“Conservation managers around the world have been using a range of techniques to help increase connectivity in fragmented landscapes. These include creating corridors, buffers and stepping stones to aid the movement of different organisms. A corridor could be anything from a hedgerow to a restored riparian (river edge) zone, to the huge landscape-scale links being developed in North America and elsewhere, with the basic idea being to create a direct link between separate patches. Stepping stones are patches of habitat which ease movement through the landscape without necessarily creating direct links. Buffer zones around woodland may help to reduce the edge effect, and protect the interior of the woods from disturbance caused by activities such as agrochemical use on adjacent land. Additional solutions include creating a matrix of other semi-natural habitat such as scrubland, which may still be favourable to some woodland fauna. Species-specific links, such as badger tunnels and aerial runways for squirrels, are also used to help these animals to negotiate roads.”Trees for Life

Gondwana Link in Southwestern Australia

The satellite photo shows us what can be achieved. The five largest areas of biodiversity left in the entire south-west are along the south coast. One connection remains through to inland Australia, via a massive 6-7 million hectare area of public land saved from the spread of agriculture in the early 1980’s.

gondwannabefore.jpg   gondwannaafter.jpg

We can reconnect these critical bushland areas and strengthen the connection with the inland. This will restore ecological connectivity and, in the cleared areas, restore land that is too fragile to farm. We will have, stretching over hundreds of kilometres, a series of core wilderness areas, linked by continuous belts of habitat and surrounded by supportive land uses.

Ecological Restoration for Continental Conservation

In November 2010, SER began a joint initiative with Wildlands Network to develop strategies for integrating the disciplines of ecological restoration, conservation biology and landscape ecology within the context of reconnecting regionally significant wildlands in North America.

North America Wildways_web NE-USA

Although ecological restoration programs around the world have made great strides over the last two decades, they are most often planned and implemented on a small, local scale without adequate consideration for their role in ensuring the ecological integrity and connectivity of vital habitats across entire landscapes or regions. This initiative examines restoration within a larger conservation framework and provides the kind of perspective practitioners need in order to maximize the effectiveness and impact of the restoration projects they design and implement.

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