Habitat connectivity, in the form of large cores of intact habitat and corridors connecting them, is critical to ensuring a sustainable future for Virginia. Wild Virginia has been leading the way, bringing people together to improve habitat connectivity in Virginia. To do this, we are guided by four major tasks.
We are a driving force behind the multidisciplinary, multi-agency group called the Virginia Safe Wildlife Corridors Collaborative (VSWCC). This group works to reduce habitat fragmentation issues caused by Virginia roads and improve habitat connectivity. Learn more about our efforts here.
Habitat Connectivity Program Milestones:
In 2020, Wild Virginia helped to pass legislation to create a Wildlife Corridor Action Plan (WCAP). The WCAP will identify and protect wildlife corridors in Virginia helping both people and wildlife move more safely.
In 2022, Wild Virginia hired a full-time Habitat Connectivity Program Director to focus solely on wildlife corridor, crossings, and connectivity concerns throughout the state.
Watch the Wildlife Center of Virginia’s ‘Untamed’ to learn more about habitat islands, and how wildlife corridors can help wildlife in areas with ever-shrinking habitats.
What’s happening now?
2023 Policy Recommendations
Wildlife corridors and habitat connectivity are crucial for ensuring ecosystem health. Wildlife must be able to move to find food and water resources, genetically diverse mates, and climate refugia. Wildlife crossings improve connectivity and reduce dangerous and costly wildlife-vehicle collisions. Virginia took steps forward in 2020 and 2021 passing bills to study and prioritize wildlife corridors. Now, we must invest in the areas identified in the forthcoming Virginia Wildlife Corridor Action Plan by creating a state funding mechanism that leverages the new and available federal dollars unlocked by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Download the full Virginia Conservation Network policy briefing: Our Common Agenda.