By habitat, we mean homes: space for food, water, nesting and shelter. When native vegetation is cleared or permanently altered, fragmented patches or islands are formed. Populations of plant and animal species within the islands are isolated and severely affected.
Habitat loss and fragmentation lead to a breakdown in ecological processes such as wildlife migration, seed dispersal, pollination of plants, and other natural functions that are essential for ecosystem health. The result is a decline in biodiversity (biological diversity) and local extinction of sensitive species.
A wildlife corridor is a link of land which adjoins larger blocks of habitat. By providing landscape connections between habitat areas, corridors enable wildlife movement and breeding of plants and animals. As a general rule, the wider the corridor, the better. Wider corridors suffer fewer impacts from adjoining land uses and have fewer edge effects from invasive weeds and predators.
How the RCRCD Supports Habitat Corridors
The RCRCD manages many valuable conservation lands that are important to the region’s plants and animals. The habitat lands provide corridors which link larger blocks of habitat for wildlife movement and migration. They also often provide water sources for wildlife, protect waterways from human impacts, improve water quality, and provide beautiful vistas to observe from afar. Many of these conservation lands have required extensive restoration.
Most, but not all of the District’s conserved and managed lands are located within four main areas: the Temescal Valley Corridor, Cajalco Corridor, Riverside Area Arroyos, and the Santa Ana River Main Stem.