Dr. David Theobald, a science advisor to the Center for Large Landscape Conservation, was recently awarded the 2022 Distinguished Landscape Practitioner Award by the North American Chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology. This honor is bestowed to individuals who have made outstanding contributions over a period of years to the application of the principles of landscape ecology to real-world problems.
When we hear the term “ecological corridors” we tend to think of the natural pathways that land animals like elk or elephants use to move among larger natural areas to eat, drink, mate and meet other survival needs. Corridors are equally important for marine life like whales, turtles, fish, and seabirds, which depend on linkages between ocean areas for daily movement, seasonal migration, and completing their life cycles. Until recently, collaborative research and guidance on marine ecological connectivity had been lacking, but now the Center for Large Landscape Conservation is supporting coordination of work by a unique group of experts that is making the issue a top priority.
The ecological connectivity of marine and coastal ecosystems is essential. It requires linkages that connect our oceans' critical habitats, species, and natural processes. These connections allow a variety of species to move and they also sustain important ecosystem functions such as fish larvae dispersal, nutrient cycling, and carbon sequestration—the ocean's ability to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to slow climate change. To inform conservation efforts that maintain, enhance, and restore ecological connectivity of the oceans, a new publication was released today titled "Marine Connectivity Conservation ‘Rules of Thumb’ for MPA and MPA Network Design."
State fish and wildlife managers recognize that keeping landscapes connected is an important conservation tool. Yet there is growing evidence that the impacts of climate change are already altering the needs and behaviors of animals, creating new patterns of movement throughout the landscape. Staff from the Center recently contributed to a new toolkit offering guidance on protecting wildlife movement and corridor habitat in the face of a changing climate.
The Center for Large Landscape Conservation announces the publication of a journal article presenting guidance on preventing another global pandemic through conservation. Co-authored by a multidisciplinary team of experts including the Center's President Gary Tabor, the article makes a case that preventing future pandemics may come down to ecological solutions, not medical ones.
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The Center recently conducted a connectivity analysis for the Custer Gallatin National Forest, modeling what could become a new approach to forest planning with landscape connectivity in mind.
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