Movement Corridors: Conservation Bargains or Poor Investments?

Corridors for movement of organisms between refuges are confounded with corridors designed for other functions, obscuring an assessment of cost‐effectiveness. The rationales for movement corridors are (1) to lower extinction rate in the sense of the equilibrium theory, (2) to lessen demographic stochasticity, (3) to stem inbreeding depression, and (4) to fulfill an inherent need for movement. There is a paucity of data showing how corridors are used and whether this use lessens extinction by solving these problems. Small, isolated populations need not be doomed to quick extinction from endogenous forces such as inbreeding depression or demographic stochasticity, if their habitats are protected from humans. In specific instances, corridors could have biological disadvantages. Corridor proposals cannot be adequately judged generically. In spite of weak theoretical and empirical bases, numerous movement corridor projects are planned. In the State of Florida, multi‐million‐dollar corridor proposals are unsupported by data on which species might use the corridors and to what effect. Similarly, plans for massive corridor networks to counter extinction caused by global warming are weakly supported. Alternative approaches not mutually exclusive of corridors might be more effective, but such a judgment cannot be made without a cost‐benefit analysis.
Peer-reviewed article
Simberloff, D. , Farr, J. A., Cox, J. and Mehlman, D. W.
Conservation Biology

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