Corridors between national parks would boost mammals’ persistence time
National parks are the backbone of conservation. Yet mounting evidence shows that many parks are too small to sustain long-term viable populations and maintain essential, large-scale ecological processes, such as large mammal migrations and natural disturbance regimes.
A new study published on Jan. 11, 2023, in Scientific Reports found that enhancing ecological connectivity, known as “corridors” or “linkages,” among several of the oldest and largest national parks in the Western United States would greatly extend the time that many mammal species populations can persist. The authors analyzed the value of establishing ecological corridors for large mammals between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks and between Mount Rainier and North Cascades National Parks. Their findings show that these corridors would not only enlarge populations, but also allow species to shift their geographic ranges more readily in response to climate change.
Geography Faculty Dr. Phoebe B. McNeally is an author on this study.