Wildlife Corridors Need Conservation

Research and analysis on vital habitat, human-animal interactions, and measures to improve safety for all

Navigate to:

Wildlife Corridors Need Conservation
A herd of elk runs across a grassy plateau in front of a snow-covered mountain range and below a blue sky with scattered puffy white clouds.
Elk crossing the Thorofare Plateau in the Shoshone National Forest winter on private ranchlands and migrate over the mountains to Yellowstone National Park for the summer.
Joe Riis

The seasonal movement patterns of North American wildlife play an essential role in sustaining animals throughout the year and maintaining the ecosystems they depend upon. Species such as mule deer and elk often travel the same routes, tracking the seasons as they seek food, refuge, and breeding grounds—and increasingly, safe harbor from extreme weather and other effects of climate change.

However, highways, subdivisions, and energy developments are encroaching on open spaces, forcing animals to alter or cease their migrations, threatening wildlife populations, and creating roadway hazards, especially in rural areas. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, up to 2 million collisions between motor vehicles and large animals occur each year in the United States, causing roughly 200 human deaths, 26,000 injuries, and at least $8 billion in damage. In rural states such as Wyoming, these collisions can represent almost 20% of all collisions reported.

But solutions to this problem are coming into focus. New technology is revolutionizing scientific understanding of migration behavior, routes, and timing. As more animals are outfitted with GPS collars, volumes of location data are enabling state and federal agencies to adopt smarter and more effective measures to conserve critical habitats and corridors and reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions. The Pew Charitable Trusts and its partners are working with governors, wildlife and transportation officials, Tribes, land managers, and scientists to support new land, wildlife, and transportation policies to conserve and restore vital movement corridors, keep the nation’s vast natural spaces connected, make highways safer, and ensure that wildlife have room to roam.

OUR WORK

America’s Overdose Crisis
America’s Overdose Crisis

America’s Overdose Crisis

Sign up for our five-email course explaining the overdose crisis in America, the state of treatment access, and ways to improve care

Sign up
Quick View

America’s Overdose Crisis

Sign up for our five-email course explaining the overdose crisis in America, the state of treatment access, and ways to improve care

Sign up
Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.