Each year, around the world, and up and down North America, millions of birds, animals, fish and insects are on the move. They’re following the seasons and sources of food, and returning to safe places to birth and rear their young.
All of these migrations depend on natural wildlife corridors—passages that allow regular travel, seasonal migration or population dispersal of different species. Any barriers to this basic need are a threat to healthy wildlife populations.
But these corridors are being sacrificed. The thoroughfares that link management areas, forests and protected areas are being fragmented by roads, cities, fences and energy development. Without wildlife corridors, elk, pronghorn antelope, tigers, elephants, whooping cranes, salmon and songbirds will not survive.
Started by Patagonia clothing company, Freedom to Roam is an initiative of WWF that works to raise awareness about – and commitment to – protecting wildlife corridors. We focus our efforts in two regions:
- Northern Great Plains: Here pronghorn antelopes, 220 butterfly species, bison and golden eagles move through a landscape undergoing extraordinary natural gas exploration and development.
- Eastern Himalayas: This region shelters increasingly fragmented swaths of intact forest that allow tigers, elephants and rhinos to find food and mates, and avoid human conflicts.
Both represent an opportunity to secure the landscapes that give wildlife populations a fighting chance. WWF works with businesses, government leaders, public and private land managers, hunters, anglers, farmers and ranchers to ensure wildlife connectivity is a part of all land and wildlife management decisions.