As described in the proposal, ours will be the first project to assess connectivity metrics and corridor effectiveness in replicate human-modified landscapes, allowing us to inform conservation policy and practice across the globe. Many conservation and environment agencies are designing – and public and private conservation investors are implementing – wildlife corridors. Huge sums of money in direct expenses and foregone development opportunities are being invested in corridors. By providing timely inferences on which metrics best quantify connectivity, and by identifying the characteristics of both successful and unsuccessful conservation corridors, this study will help promote wise conservation investments. Questions managers most frequently ask about corridors include: “How wide does a corridor need to be?”; “Which modeling tool best helps me identify where should I place corridors for most impact?”; and “Will my target species benefit, and to what degree?” Empirical answers – no matter what they are – will be a landmark contribution.
We welcome your suggestions on how we can make our products most useful to the conservation users of our products in the following 4 ways:
1) Report for Conservation Planners
We will work with end-users in NGOs and government to co-produce a Report for Conservation Planners (RCP), that will be most useful to end users.
We will recruit RCP co-authors from conservation planners working for entities, if you wish to co-produce the RCP – or wish to suggest someone for that task – please contact us.
2) How much model complexity is needed for corridor planning?
As described in the proposal, we will compare how well five connectivity models predict gene flow between patches.
This activity will begin after January 2023. If you wish to suggest areas to be included in this activity, please contact us.
3) Our plans for field research.
We received notice of funding in January 2021, at which time the COVID-19 pandemic is delaying our ability to start field work. If you want to suggest changes to the field work, please do so before July 2021.
4) Our plans for modeling.
The modeling will start as soon as we have empirical data on gene flow in 2 or 3 of our landscapes, which may occur as early as March or April 2022.
WHAT PEOPLE HAVE SAID ABOUT THIS PROJECT
“The proposed project will be of enormous value in helping CBD member states implement their national targets for connectivity” during the 2020 meeting of the CBD, which will “for the first time include meaningful targets for connectivity.” He goes on to explain “Most of what we think we know about corridors comes from experiments on “model systems” … this study will at last indicate what corridor widths and how much freedom from human disturbance is needed for a corridor to be successful.”
— Dr. Gary Tabor, head of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Connectivity (IUCN) Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group (CCSG)