Wildlife linkage planning
Wildlife linkages remain a top conservation priority for many wide-ranging terrestrial vertebrates. My UCD colleague, Iara Lacher, and I used federally mandated U.S. State Wildlife Action Plans to examine how real-world conservation plans address or do not address wildlife linkages. We used content analysis to examine language and emphasis around concepts directly related to wildlife linkages. We found that many plans give surprisingly little attention to this major concept, even when they have multiple wide-ranging animal species. However, the ones that did have more detailed plans for wildlife linkages enabled us to develop several best practices, supported by the academic literature. This study was intended to examine the current state of wildlife linkage planning in real-world plans and also to identify the major focuses and strengths of those plans.