Conservation International and its partners' efforts to establish a conservation corridor between the Pantanal and the Cerrado (called the East West Corridor), is part of a growing trend in global
|"Not only do corridors provide wildlife with more habitat, but they also help maintain genetic diversity among populations."
conservation. Corridors are primarily undisturbed and unfragmented areas that provide connectivity between two or more crucial habitats, allowing wildlife to travel safely between these two regions; they are especially beneficial to migratory species and animals with large ranges. Restoring and protecting conservation corridors has been identified by top scientists as a vital strategy in ensuring the long-term health of ecosystems and species.
The reason that conservation corridors are so important is that when habitats are fragmented, they can quickly become overcrowded. Young animals are not able to leave and establish their own territories and the resources of the area rapidly become depleted, causing stress to the wildlife and low reproductive trends. Conservation corridors connect fragmented habitats and provide wildlife access to larger habitats, in turn giving them wider ranges for food and shelter and decreasing the competition between species and individuals.
ARTICLE: More Protection for Brazilian Forests
Not only do corridors provide wildlife with more habitat, but they also help maintain genetic diversity among populations; This is crucial for animals to acclimatize to the changing environment. When the gene pool in a population diminishes, it weakens the species' ability to adapt to new diseases, exotic species and other changes introduced into the environment. Often when habitats become fragmented, gene flow within a population decreases and geographic, genetic distinct populations form. This decrease in genetic biodiversity weakens the gene pool and often leads to inbreeding, further decreasing the viability of the population's genetics and lessening the likelihood of reproductive success.
CI and its partners in Brazil plan to link protected areas, parks, and organic farms in the Pantanal and Cerrado to create a conservation corridor spanning 309,000 square miles. Species such as tapirs, crowned eagles, jaguars, macaws and osprey will benefit from this exciting initiative.
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