Help Wildlife Move in a Changing World

Wildlife like the black bear move both daily and seasonally to survive. However, the habitats animals rely on continue to be fragmented by housing, roads, fences, energy facilities, and other man-made barriers. As a result, animals are struggling more and more to reach food, water, shelter, and breeding sites.

Climate change is also increasing the need for better wildlife movement. The fourth National Climate Assessment stated, “habitat fragmentation and loss of connectivity (due to urbanization, roads, dams, etc.) can prevent species from tracking shifts in their required climate.” Therefore, it is critical that the United States redouble its efforts to make sure wildlife can continue to move across the landscape, and to retain, restore, and establish wildlife passageways in order to ease wildlife movements and range shifts.

mule deer
Mule deer on the Red Desert to Hoback Migration Route in Wyoming. Mark Thornhoff, BLM.

Recognizing these serious challenges, Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico and Congressmen Don Beyer of Virginia and Vern Buchanan of Florida introduced a game-changing piece of legislation today that would support maintaining wildlife migrations, movements, and corridors. The Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019 would be a momentous step forward for 21st century wildlife management.

Take action: call on your members of Congress to co-sponsor and pass the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019!

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What the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019 does for wildlife

Funding for wildlife movement projects will help monarchs complete their crucial journey from wintering habitats to find native milkweed to host monarch caterpillars. Photo USFS.

Creates a Wildlife Movements Grant Program to fund important wildlife movement projects on state, private and tribal lands. This work will consist of building bridges over roads blocking mule deer and pronghorn migrations, and creating culverts (pathways for water to flow under infrastructure) that allow turtles and amphibians to cross barriers safely.

Identifies National Wildlife Corridors on Federal Lands

This system will allow wildlife to migrate across public lands with the changing seasons and boost biodiversity in degraded ecosystems. This system is an important and long overdue investment in the long-term health of wildlife populations, and will benefit all species, from elk and mule deer to carnivores like the wolverine.

Establishes a Process for Identifying Tribal Wildlife Corridors

In addition to National Wildlife Corridors on Public Lands, the bill also creates a process for Tribes to identify Tribal Wildlife Corridors on tribal lands.

Yellowstone cutthroat trout
Spawning Yellowstone cutthroat trout. Photo Jacob W. Frank/NPS

Creates a National Wildlife Corridor Database

This database that will incorporate relevant data from federal agencies and will allow wildlife managers to make informed wildlife corridor decisions across the United States.

This legislation is a big step forward for wildlife conservation. Please join the National Wildlife Federation calling on members of Congress to cosponsor and pass the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019.

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