Assess a wildlife linkage

We are enlisting the help of local volunteers and students to get a better sense of where wildlife is moving between core forests. This helps us identify priority areas for conservation and areas in need of restoration where the connections between forests are more tenuous.

We have designed an easy-to-use and broadly accessible tool for assessing linkages that you can find below. Our volunteers ground-truth potential linkages to get a clearer picture of their functional connectivity for wildlife. We are especially interested in identifying pinch-points where movement may be funneled or restricted by fences, lack of cover, and other fine-scale features not picked up through modeling. These are areas that – if further compromised – could disproportionately restrict wildlife as species migrate seasonally and seek out food, water, shelter, and mates. This has become even more important as species adapt their ranges in response to changes in climate.

Staff from the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance and the Housatonic Valley Association Having Fun Assessing Linkages

The resulting set of refined linkages allows Follow the Forest partners to better prioritize their conservation efforts. These assessments also present opportunities to approach municipalities and landowners and raise public awareness of wildlife connectivity needs. So what are you waiting for? Go out and assess linkages near you.

If you are a land trust and are interested in setting up a volunteer day with us, please reach out.