Protecting Wildlife on the Go

January 23, 2014

Although national parks provide much-needed safe havens for wildlife, they’re not enough for the migratory species that travel in and out of their borders. To compensate, conservationists are now paying closer attention to protecting migratory paths.

The National Park Service and conservationists work tirelessly to protect wildlife across the United States. Within the parks, animals are safe from human development; however, recently scientists have broadened their concern to include migratory paths.

In a paper recently released in the journal Conservation Biology, leading experts laid out a plan to conserve migrating wildlife as they travel vast distances. WCS Senior Conservation Scientist Joel Berger explained, “our national parks are increasingly becoming island ecosystems.”

There has already been success in efforts of this kind, including the “Path of the Pronghorn” which connects the Upper Green River Basin in Wyoming to wintering ground in Grand Teton National Park. Since national parks attract as many people as professional football, baseball and basketball games combined, engaging the public on this issue is an important early step.

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