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Study: Forest corridors could slow extinctions

Biologists have developed a grim rule of thumb: Species isolated in small, disconnected patches of habitat run a much higher risk of dying out.That’s bad news as many of the world’s forests become increasingly fragmented. But some ecologists think they can stave off extinction crises by connecting those patches of forests. Small corridors of trees between larger groves could offer a path for birds, mammals and plants to spread between the fragments — making the entire population more resilient.On average, populations in the connected forests were expected to survive 13 times as long as they would have in isolated pockets, according to research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers identified 20 areas where these “wildlife corridors” could be planted. Those corridors, just six-tenths of a mile wide, could create more than 500,000 acres of continuous forest.

Some scientists warned that it could take more than a decade for those corridors to grow, meaning they could amount to too little, too late for species facing extinction now (Brad Plumer, New York Times, Aug. 21). — AAA

Source: Climate Wire – E&E News