Sarah Kuck recently wrote a great article for YES! Magazine about why wildlife needs room to roam and why connecting protected areas is important. She highlights issues such as global climate shifts, loss of natural predators and the need for conservation to include economic opportunities for local communities. Her dialog very clearly and concisely summarizes the need for large, protected areas that are interconnected – in essence, why Nature Needs Half. Here is a brief excerpt, and I encourage you to read the full article “Wildlife Right of Way” >
(But) biologists like Michael Soulé and Reed Noss say grizzlies, wolves, and other big mammals shouldn’t be a casualty of modern society. They could make a comeback—if we give them what they need most: space. Soulé and Noss presented a new method for conservation in their 1998 paper, “Rewilding and Biodiversity: Complementary Goals for Continental Conservation.” They discussed how the expansion of national parks and protected lands is necessary but only part of the answer. To piece back together the vast ecosystems that once stretched across North America, rewilding suggests an additional focus on reconnecting the scattered pockets of remaining wilderness, and on re-establishing predator populations. These methods have now evolved from conservation idea to practice and have become promising tools for fighting biodiversity loss.
Conservation is often about saving one dwindling population, one small remnant. Rewilding asks us to think big—to envision a continent-wide conservation strategy, with large core areas of protected land linked by lush, safe passageways for migrating species. Rewilding says that, although saving big spaces is critical, linking the spaces is just as crucial to stem rapid species loss.