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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is an ecological network?
A: In the past, conservation has concentrated on the need to protect key sites of wildlife interest as nature reserves and designated wildlife areas. This was essential to prevent many of our rarest habitats and species from becoming extinct. However, nature doesn’t recognise fences and nature reserve boundaries. Most species and habitats need to move and migrate, depending on seasonal and climatic changes, the need to breed and the need to find food and shelter. One example is the otter, which needs a territory of up to 40km of river with around 30 resting places and numerous feeding sites. A small beetle may require just a few hundred metres as its territory, while a bird may need to migrate thousands of miles between breeding sites and overwintering sites.
Although nature reserves are essential to protect key wildlife areas, the habitats which surround and link them are vital too. We have become aware that despite the existence of nature reserves, rare and protected species and habitats are still declining. One of the fundamental reasons for this decline is that wildlife needs a number of different areas of ‘prime’ habitat, interconnected through a patchwork of less suitable habitats through which it can move. We call them corridors. Humans have put up a number of ‘barriers’ which prevent wildlife moving around within and between these prime areas, such as towns and roads. Read more...

Q: Is creating an ecological network as complicated as it sounds?
A: No. It may sound complicated but it can be as simple as planting a hedgerow to connect two small woodlands to allow species like bats and dormice to migrate.
Or have a garden, and make it wildlife friendly by adding nectar rich plants, ponds and a compost heap.
An example of a species which benefits from a countryside which is easier to move through is the damselfly. Some damselflies can only migrate a few hundred metres to find food and a mate. Having a pond on your land can provide wildlife with water when it most needs it - almost like an oasis in a desert. Ponds are one of the single most important things you can have on your land to help wildlife. Read more...

Q: What is an ecological corridor?
A: A thin strip of vegetation used by wildlife and potentially allowing movement of biotic factors between two areas.

Q: What are common barriers for animals to go to another area?
A: Transport corridors, such as roads and railways, have been proven to be major causes of habitat fragmentation. They not only cause the loss of natural habitats but also affect the quality of adjacent habitats, inhibit animal movements and increase unnatural wildlife mortality due to collisions with traffic. Read more...

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