Wildlife is constantly on the move, both daily and seasonally, to survive. It is essential for them to have unhindered access to the habitats they move through, and occupy. However, their habitats continue to be interrupted by infrastructure development, agriculture and other man-made barriers. As a result, there is a huge struggle to reach food, water, shelter, and breeding sites. Hence, corridors are crucial in the current world where wildlife habitats are being increasingly fragmented and isolated. All kinds of wildlife species – mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and even plants require these corridors for their well-being. They are also important in all types of habitat realms – deserts, grasslands, forests, rivers, oceans, wetlands, etc.
What are wildlife corridors?
Wildlife corridors are habitat patches that generally consist of native vegetation connecting two or more larger areas of similar wildlife habitat. They can vary in size, shape, and composition.
Why are corridors important?
Corridors are critical for:
- Facilitating the movement of wildlife
- Helping animals disperse from a source area (areas with a surplus wildlife population or areas that have reached ecological carrying capacities) to a sink area (habitats that can accommodate more animals of a species)
- Supporting migration of wildlife within a landscape
- Ensuring higher species diversity
- Facilitating gene flow so that diversity is maintained in a local population
- Helping restock wildlife species if they go locally extinct.
What are the threats to corridors?
Corridors are at times peppered by fragmentation, caused primarily by urbanisation, infrastructure development, agriculture and changing land use patterns. Highways, steady vehicular movement, railway lines, industries, mining, unsustainable extraction of natural resources – all are threats to corridors. Lack of awareness about the importance of corridors is also a key impediment to their conservation.
This film titled ‘Understanding Wildlife Corridors’ was produced to bring in awareness about corridors and to give a broad understanding of forest corridors that are critical for some of the terrestrial mammals. Directed by renowned wildlife filmmaker, Sara, the film has been produced in both English and Kannada to ensure that it reaches a wider audience. We would be glad to help if civil societies, forest departments or individuals are interested to translate the film into other local languages.