Stunningly stupid study touts the need for plants and animals to have “climate connectivity corridors” to escape climate change

From the GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY and the Department of the “galactically stupid” comes this new spin coupled with a new buzzword – “climate connectivity”. Authors of the study claim a need for creating “climate corridors” for plants and animals to use to flee to cooler areas.“We studied what could happen if we were to provide additional connectivity that would allow species to move across the landscape through climate corridors…” . Riiiight. I’m sure the deer, chipmunks, salamanders, and pine trees can read signs and access these “corridors” assuming of course, whatever fool that tried to build them could secure all the land rights, permits, etc. And, as we all know, animals just don’t like warmer environments, like UHI infested cities, so we have to build corridors around them. Oh, wait.

Of course, it’s all built on a model, as they say: “We see a lot of species’ distributions really start to wink out after about 50 years, but it is tricky to look at future predictions because we will have a lot of habitat loss predicted using our models…”. Yes, Yogi Berra said it best: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

The stupid, it burns.

Map shows the regions of the United States from which plants and animals will be able to escape predicted climate change. Blue areas are where they will be able to succeed given current conditions, orange areas are where they will be able to succeed only if they are able to cross over human disturbed areas, and gray areas are areas where they cannot succeed by following climate gradients. Credit: Jenny McGuire, Georgia Tech

Map shows the regions of the United States from which plants and animals will be able to escape predicted climate change. Blue areas are where they will be able to succeed given current conditions, orange areas are where they will be able to succeed only if they are able to cross over human disturbed areas, and gray areas are areas where they cannot succeed by following climate gradients. Credit: Jenny McGuire, Georgia Tech

Eastern US needs ‘connectivity’ to help species escape climate change

For plants and animals fleeing rising temperatures, varying precipitation patterns and other effects of climate change, the eastern United States will need improved “climate connectivity” for these species to have a better shot at survival.

Western areas of the U.S. provide greater temperature ranges and fewer human interruptions than eastern landscapes, allowing plants and animals there to move toward more hospitable climates with fewer obstacles. A new study has found that only 2 percent of the eastern U.S. provides the kind of climate connectivity required by species that will likely need to migrate, compared to 51 percent of the western United States.

The research, reported June 13 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, for the first time quantifies the concept of climate connectivity in the United States. The paper suggests that creating climate-specific corridors between natural areas could improve that connectivity to as much as 65 percent nationwide, boosting the chances of survival by more species. The issue is especially critical in the Southeast, which could provide routes to cooler northern climates as temperatures rise.

“Species are going to have to move in response to climate change, and we can act to both facilitate movement and create an environment that will prevent loss of biodiversity without a lot of pain to ourselves,” said Jenny McGuire, a research scientist in the School of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “If we really start to be strategic about planning to prevent biodiversity loss, we can help species adjust effectively to climate change.”

Creating and maintaining connections between natural areas has long been thought critical to allowing plants and animals to move in search of suitable climate conditions, she explained. Some species will have to move hundreds of kilometers over the course of a half-century.

McGuire and her collaborators set out to determine the practicality of that kind of travel and test whether these human initiatives could improve migration to cooler areas. Using detailed maps of human impact created by David Theobald at Conservation Partners in Fort Collins, Colorado, they distinguished natural areas from areas disturbed by human activity across the United States. They then calculated the coolest temperatures that could be found by moving within neighboring natural areas.

Co-authors Tristan Nuñez from the University of California Berkeley, Joshua Lawler from the University of Washington, Brad McRae from the Nature Conservancy and others created a program called Climate Linkage Mapper. They then used this program to find the easiest pathways across climate gradients and human-disturbed regions to connect natural areas.

“A lot of these land areas are very fragmented and broken up,” McGuire said. “We studied what could happen if we were to provide additional connectivity that would allow species to move across the landscape through climate corridors. We asked how far they could actually go and what would be the coolest temperatures they could find.”

With its relatively dense human population and smaller mountains, the eastern part of the United States fell short on climate connectivity. The western part of the country – with its tall mountains, substantial undisturbed natural areas and strict conservation policies – provided much better climate connectivity.

Improving connectivity would require rehabilitating forests and planting natural habitats adjacent to interruptions such as large agricultural fields or other areas where natural foliage has been destroyed. It could also mean building natural overpasses that would allow animals to cross highways, helping them avoid collisions with vehicles.

Not only will animals have to move, but they’ll also need to track changes in the environment and food, such as specific prey for carnivores and the right plants for herbivores. Some birds and large animals may be able to make that adjustment, but many smaller creatures may struggle to track the food and climate they need.

“A lot of them are going to have a hard time,” said McGuire. “For plants and animals in the East, there is a higher potential for extinction due to an inability to adapt to climate change. We have a high diversity of amphibians and other species that are going to struggle.”

The negative impacts of climate change won’t affect all species equally, McGuire said. Species with small ranges or those with specialist diets or habitats will struggle the most.

“Not all plants and animals will have to move,” she explained. “There is a subset of them that will be able to hunker down where they are. There will be some species that are really widespread and will end up just having some population losses. But especially for species that have smaller ranges, there will be some loss of biodiversity as they are unable to jump across agricultural fields or major roadways.”

The Southeast, especially the coastal plains from Louisiana through Virginia, could create a bottleneck for species trying to move north away from rising temperatures and sea levels. “The Southeast ends up being a really important area for a lot of vertebrate species that we know are going to have to move into the Appalachian area and even potentially farther north,” she added.

In future work, the researchers hope to examine individual species to determine which ones are most likely to struggle with the changing climate, and which areas of the country are likely to be most impacted by conflicts between humans and relocating animals.

“We see a lot of species’ distributions really start to wink out after about 50 years, but it is tricky to look at future predictions because we will have a lot of habitat loss predicted using our models,” McGuire said. “Change is perpetual, but we are going to have to scramble to prepare for this.”

###

The research was supported by the U.S. National Park Service and by the Packard Foundation.

CITATION: Jenny L. McGuire, Joshua J. Lawler, Brad H. McRae, Tristan Nuñez, and David Theobald, “Achieving climate connectivity in a fragmented landscape,” (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2016).

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170 thoughts on “Stunningly stupid study touts the need for plants and animals to have “climate connectivity corridors” to escape climate change

  1. “Some species will have to move hundreds of kilometers over the course of a half-century.”
    Oh FFS..
    Do these “scientists” know anything about nature, adaptation and natural migration ??

    • This is all you need to know about those “scientists” ……

      McGuire and her collaborators set out to determine

      • Asmilwho asks:

        Would you include Dr Judith Curry, also at Georgia Tech, in your prejudice?

        And SamC replies:

        “NO”, nor would I include Marie Skłodowska Curie in my prejudice.

        But iffen you had asked if I would have included yourself, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer or a few dozen other miseducated lefty “liberalized” females or girlymen that I am familiar with ….. then I would have responded with a resounding “YES”.

    • No, they don’t. They are all myopic hyperspecialists whose only commonality with other like-minded “scientists” is their belief in, commitment to, and reliance on #Climate$Change™ funding providers.

      Confronted with any serious questions (and of course, The Media never asks because they are compliant morons, hungry for yet more compelling, drama-filled narratives to snag more clicks’n’eyeballs) they’d just cite “The Data”, “Everybody Knows” and “Shut up, that’s why!”. Or maybe, “That’s Not My Department” or “That’s Above My Pay Grade”.

  2. In way one I guess corridors for wildlife could be a good idea.
    Imagine the climate is warming very gradually, for whatever reason.
    For example a species temperature range may move south by 5km per year.
    Corridors would allow the range to slowly move.
    No intelligence needed, just deaths and births.

    • “For example a species temperature range may move south by 5km per year.”

      Or North.. or East… or even… West !!!

      WOW !!!

    • Wait, you mean the corridors should be able to support two way traffic? That’s good news because now I can get funding for another set of studies exploring the complexities of directing traffic with the various species heading in different directions through the corridors. That should set me up for at least ten years of solid income. Excellent!

      • bill johnston wrote: ““corridors for wildlife”?”

        That’s another name for rivers, creeks and streams.

      • Really, “connectivity corridors” are needed more to preserve genetic diversity than to “save” the animals from climate change. Wildlife bridges always make me think of the West Wing episode where an environmentalist group try to convince a staffer that spending a billion dollars (literally) on a bridge for wolves is a good investment. The staffer asks how the wolves are going to know to use the bridge.

        There are good reasons to connect natural spaces, but supposed climate change is not one of them. The East Coast has poor connectivity because it is so populated, not because of small mountains. Actually, shouldn’t small mountains make migration easier? I could hike over the Blue Ridge mountains much more easily than I could hike over the Rockies. Also, it is not so much stricter policies in the West as it is land ownership. Western states’ lands are largely owned by the federal government, whereas Eastern states’ public lands are state owned. Much more of the East Coast and even the Midwest was privately owned by the time the federal government came into being. For the time being, private property owners still have some say over their land use. The massive land tracts owned by the feds out west are easier to control, and the constant lawsuits by environmentalists make any and all change rather difficult.

    • Except it doesn’t happen that way, Jeff. Animals don’t have a very narrow range of optimum temperatures that they prefer. They have huge, broad swaths of temperatures that they can live in, and there’s no strict cut-off. Look at any map and you will see the ranges of animals. Those that are limited are not limited by temperature, but by biome. Unless there are massive shifts in rainfall patterns (a claim for which I have seen no backing in science), the forests will just be slightly warmer forests and plains will be slightly warmer plains. This is supported by the fact that daily shifts in temperature are an order of magnitude greater than the warming due to CO2.

      The best way to observe this is to compare it to the adiabatic lapse rate. When you go up 100 meters, the air drops by about 1 degree C (approximately, but good enough for comparison). Now, climb a hill. 100 meters isn’t really that much. You won’t see any change in wildlife from the top of that hill to the bottom of the hill. Now, that trip from the bottom to the top of the hill was the entirety of 20th century warming. You can do this with larger and larger hills until you actually go up mountains, and you will still observe the vast majority of animals are the same in the lowlands and highlands

    • I’ve been hearing about wildlife corridors for decades. Generally the idea to allow different pockets of wildlife a chance to contact and inter-breed in order to avoid genetic isolation and inbreeding.

      On the other hand I’ve seen deer wandering through the downtown areas of small towns. They seem to find their way through man’s constructions without much assistance.

      • MarkW, speaking of deer, maybe we can include safe deer crossing locations in these efforts. I am reminded of the woman who called a local radio station in PA or OH to complain that the deer crossing signs were posted in areas where it was not safe for deer to cross the roads. She wanted someone to move the signs to safer locations.

      • Mark W
        Yes – even here in London we have deer – last saw one [Roe?] about three weeks ago – early start, and off to France for a booze-run.
        Foxes are a given – and a deuced nuisance.
        Badgers [so no hedgehogs]; yes. Some live, some as roadkill.
        Rats – of course.
        Squirrels, mice, etc. Indeed.
        A biggish [3-4 inch long] common frog under our recycling about ten days ago, too.
        Birds – shedloads, from storks to wrens, parakeets to robins.

        Auto – within the M25 [London’s orbital motorway].

      • My neighbor, Stuart, used to put up signs in his yard to keep the deer out. The sign was a picture of a deer with a big circle containing a slash mark partly covering the deer. The signs worked in daylight; he never saw any deer. However, at night, after a snowfall, the deer would cross, ignoring the sign, and Stuart and I could see the hoofprints in the morning. So I think signs could be very useful, but they would have to be lit up at night. [true, but not serious]

    • The average annual temperature for St. Louis is 56.1 F. About 450 km to the south is Memphis, TN, where the average annual temperature is 62.3 F. That is a natural difference of 6.2 F over 450 km. Nearly every species of plants and animals found in and around St. Louis, is already found in and around Memphis. To most life, it is pretty much the same climate. At the current, likely exaggerated warming rate, it would take 200 years for St. Louis to be as warm as Memphis. Try as I might, I just can’t imagine any way this is going to be a problem.

      But there is more. Think back 200 years and the ability that we humans had to respond to the varieties of nature. We heated our drafty homes with firewood or coal. We traveled literally by horsepower or on foot. Goods were moved on steamboats and wagons. Information took months to cross the continent. Our collective ability to solve problems was far less and far slower than it is today. What will it be like in 200 years? Will the people 100 and 200 years in the future have a far greater capacity to solve any issues that may arrive than we do today? If we don’t bomb or legislate ourselves back into the stone age, they most certainly will. What was difficult 200 years ago is relatively easy now. What we find difficult now, will be relatively easy 200 years from know.

      Imagine James Madison spending his presidency trying to solve the problems of congested interstate highway systems around major US Cities that won’t exist for 150 years, instead of dealing with the British. He would have been locked up in the asylum. Yet, today, half the population believes we should be solving the hypothetical problems of 2116, instead of dealing with the problems we have today.

  3. Not only deny earlier climate changes, or so it seems; they clearly cannot believe in any form of evolution..

    • But they must have some concept of their own origins – not like common folk, I dare say – but probably formed absolutely perfect – from a God’s sweat.
      [PS ‘God’ may be of any sex or none, and thus incorporates ‘god’, ‘goddess’, ‘god-hood’, ‘godlike’ etc.].

      Auto, of common origin

  4. Here on the east coast of Australia we have a similar situation where the wildlife corridors that many species used have been fragmented by roads and urban sprawl.
    Oceanic fish can move easily and they are already, but mammals, reptiles, insects, etc could find themselves isolated, unable to adapt and nowhere near enough time to evolve.

    • At a meagre 0.8C per century… seriously !!!

      All the animals I know get in cars and head north for the summer vacation

      (for the uninitiated… down here, North is towards the equator, and generally warmer than going south)

      • Well, not without some of the poor things getting pancaked…it would be a travesty that they didn’t all make it don’t you know. (Now where is that sarcasm font?…)

      • Hitting a large kangaroo is like hitting a large buck here in upstate NY: the driver can be killed. The car most certainly will need major repairs.

    • How would an animal find itself isolated? Unless it’s in an actual park in the middle of a city, or all of a forest is destroyed. However, that’s a different matter entirely. Habitat loss is a real environmental problem that calls for real solutions. If you want to work on that, you have my best wishes, and I will defend and support your cause as best I can.

      However, this nonsense deserves to be mocked. The problem comes when you think that animals need to move quickly to escape warming that’s within a thermometer’s standard error over time scales spanning multiple generations of even long-lived animals. (literally, the rate of warming is less than 1C per century, an it is not expected to rise much faster in any physically plausible model). You either must think that animals are extremely sensitive to temperature or that evolution happens extremely slowly (both of which are wrong).

      • What is especially stupid is that most animals that are super temperature/climate sensitive (as far as I know) are reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Probably some fish as well, particularly in terms of spawning. These animals are not going to migrate the way that mammals and birds will. I do not think that the salamander living on three mountain tops in the Shenandoah mountains (it actually does exist) is going to migrate up down the mountains and up to the mountains in West Virginia, Maryland or Pennsylvania. Humans flipping over logs and rocks looking for said salamander will likely do more damage than a tenth or hundredth of a degree.

    • The idea that roads present an insurmountable barrier to animal migrations is one of those ideas that seems logical on the surface but in reality is quite absurd.
      Scattered houses present even less of an obstacle.

      • Scattered houses might not pose much of a barrier but where I live large swaths of natural forest are being cleared for tract housing. Chunks of species rich habitat is being raised with barely a blade of grass is left standing. Even ignoring climate induced migration, fragmentation of habitat leaves fewer and fewer individuals able to mix and interbreed. At some point there are just to few to remain a viable population.
        Hence the importance of wildlife corridors. The rate of species extinction is concerning.

      • tony mcleod, ….. getta clue, …… large swaths of natural forest do not provide a “species rich habitat” for anything other than the trees growing therein ……. simply because mature trees provide little to no food source to sustain animal life therein ….. and lack of sufficient Sunshine reaching the forest floor prevents any new growth of other plant life,

        Iffen ya wanna see a large swath of natural forest converted to a “species rich habitat” then send the “loggers” in to hack n’ gash n’ slash their way through it, …. opening it up so the Sunshine can stimulate new growth on the forest floor. And that new plant growth will attract new animal life like it was a biological “magnet”.

        Just like the European immigrants of the 17th to 19th Centuries ….. hacked n’ gashed n’ slashed their way across the Appalachians thus creating a “species rich habitat” that still exists till this day.

      • large swaths of natural forest do not provide a “species rich habitat”
        Hogwash.
        Reef habitats are the most bio-diverse on the planet closely followed by rainforest. Habitat loss/destruction, almost entirely caused by human activity, continues to be the primary driver of extinction. Are you a population biologist? I didn’t think so.

      • tony mcleod

        Reef habitats are the most bio-diverse on the planet closely followed by rainforest. Habitat loss/destruction, almost entirely caused by human activity, continues to be the primary driver of extinction. Are you a population biologist? I didn’t think so.

        The dodo (and only a few dozen other species killed in past centuries) were lost due to man’s activities.
        More species have been killed – BUT ALMOST ALL of them on isolated islands BY NATURAL predators introduced with the ships men brought. Rats, for example, kill the eggs and the nests.

        Now. Exactly how many species have been killed out the past 35 years by so-called climate change – when today’s temperatures have been routinely exceeded many times in the past 12,000 years of this glacial cycle?

      • In the context we were discussing, Australia has lost 27 mammal species since European settlement. Not all of those to habitat loss alone, but that often plays a part.

  5. Gave me a hearty laugh to start the day. And just the thought that the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences would publish such drivel made the laugh even deeper.

    • “The “deer crossing” signs are already installed.”

      Silly that they put them along the divided highways. That gets a lot of deer killed, they forget to look both ways before crossing at the signs.

    • How are the deer supposed to know where to cross? They can’t read (or can they!!)

      Here in the south end of Sarasota County they built a Scrub Jay preserve to help protect this annoying species. There are wonderful signs all around indicating such. My neighbor’s Italian mother simply asked, “How do the birds know they are supposed to go their, they can’t read.”

      • Of course Deer can read – the same way positive feedbacks know to only manifest themselves if the global warming is caused by man’s release of extra co2 vs the positive feedbacks knowing to remain dormant during periods of natural warming.

      • See my comment above about the woman who wanted the deer crossing signs moved to safer locations.

      • Clearly we need funding for Common Core reading classes for the birds. I believe many people have already complained about the curriculum being tailor-made for birds. If someone wants to give me a grant, I will get right on that.

      • I am reminded of the lady who called her local radio station to complain about the new deer crossing signs she passed on the way to work. She thought they should be relocated to areas with less traffic. ;-)

  6. Didn’t the Paris conference already solve all the problems and there will be no more climate change ??

  7. Another ‘Given global warming, . . . .” study.

    With some environmentalist demands on property thrown in.

    And plenty of ignorance on the distribution of plants and animals.

    • No, nature is about to (continue) the pruning process. Next are the CCC Cagw activists…..

  8. Interesting study, looks like its basic theme could be applied to any environmental changes including a next ice age, a far more dire possibility than a little more warmth. In either case, “…we are going to have to scramble to prepare for this”, meaning humanity will have its hands full helping other species survive, is a very healthy sentiment. Some might suggest we just let evolution work its magic, species rise and fall over time and life has no problem adapting to Mother Nature’s (and each other’s) changes to their surroundings. There is hardly a corner or niche on this planet that isn’t occupied by some form of life. However I personally think its great that one species (humanity) regularly makes extraordinary efforts to preserve species whose evolutionary expiration date might otherwise have passed.

  9. Ecoloony Land is a strange land indeed. My only question is, do they dress themselves in the morning or do they need help?

    • I’m imagining free-range idiots a la Monty Python’s ‘Upper Class Twit of the Year’ race participants memorizing their daily affirmations and eco-propaganda in preparation for the day.

  10. Excellent business opportunity for someone who can crack the communication problem with plants and animals – Climate Change Trucking Company, book ahead and beat the rush.

  11. Apart from the invocation of the cagw threat, I don’t see there’s much wrong with this theory. Smaller habitats are obviously more at risk from changes than are larger ones as you pointed out in your earlier post, https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/06/14/claim-global-warming-killed-a-species-of-rat/ . In my neck of the woods there is a canal restoration project underway, see http://cotswoldcanals.com/, and one of the benefits of it will be the creation of a wildlife corridor. If a bit of thought is put in at early stages in infrastructure development, nature can benefit without undue expense.

    • The idea of wildlife corridors is to give creatures whose habitat has been nibbled away at by development a chance to move to other, less-developed areas. But they aren’t talking about that. For these bozoz “climate change” is now the threat. Furthermore, with the possible exception of the case you mention with the canal, the instances where this would be feasible would very much localized ones, and they’d be few and far between. I think they have much grander, fantasy-land ideas.

    • If a bit of thought is put in at early stages in infrastructure development, nature can benefit without undue expense.

      Exactly so. This is the approach suggested by Judith Curry.

      Robust policy options that can be justified by associated policy reasons whether or not human caused climate change is dangerous avoids the hubris of pretending to know what will happen with the 21st century climate.

      In other words, no regrets when everyone finally realizes that CAGW is bull crap.

    • For protection of small areas threatened by habitat loss, yes, that it a good thing. However, that’s not what they are talking about here.

      Something that works quite well on the small scale becomes ludicrous when you are talking hundreds of miles of corridors.

    • I started developing an interest in tracking bear populations after New Jersey re-introduced a very limited public bear hunt in 2003. NJ stopped having public bear hunts in the 1960s because the bear population had been wiped out. But by 2003, bear were beginning to encroach on humans: scavenging for food in garbage cans; threatening pets and potentially small children; collisions with cars and planes; etc. That caused calls to government to escalate. Biologists concluded the bear population had grown larger than the state’s wild areas could support. So they carefully designed a “one time” bear hunt. After the hunt the number of bears culled hit their target with amazing precision. Except the bear population continued to grow. So they did another “one time” hunt in 2005. And the bear population continued to grow. So in 2010 they gave up on the idea of a “one time” hunt and made it an annual hunt. The bear population continued to grow. So in 2014, they expanded the hunting season. All told, there have been several thousand bears killed since 2003 and the population is still larger than it was when the first hunt began in 2003. It is not unique to NJ. All throughout New England the bear population is exploding.

      https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/06/20/bears/4iQHkreqivLLYBjLvtudDK/story.html

      I figure if an apex predator like black bears are thriving, then most “lesser” plants and animals that make it possible for them to expand their populations must also be thriving.

      • So sayith: Groty

        All told, there have been several thousand bears killed since 2003 and the population is still larger than it was when the first hunt began in 2003.

        YUP, and I am sure that the current bear population in the NE US …. is far larger now than it was when the Pilgrims first landed on Cape Cod or at any time during the past 200 years.

    • They have been slowly expanding the bear hunting season in Maryland after they recently allowed bears to be hunted because of increased bear sightings in populated areas. There is an area that extends from PA Ino the northwest corner of MD and into WVA that is a natural bear habitat. Of course, the anti-hunting crowd is opposed to the bear hunts.

      • Yup, Black Bear sightings and “kills” are now quite common in central WVA.

        And yup, when the I-79 Corridor from Charleston, WV to Erie, Pennsylvania was completed in 77′, it immediately became famous as a Whitetail Deer Corridor because of the hundreds n’ hundreds of deer that are killed each year … while attempting to migrate to “greener pastures”.

    • If wildlife corridors are a good idea(and I happen to think they are), then you don’t need such absurd examples to support them in.

      • I should add that this is not an unlimited endorsement.
        In most places there is little to no need for explicit “corridors” as the wildlife has little trouble passing through and by the constructions of man.
        In those few places where the works of man provide an impermeable barrier, small changes are usually sufficient to provide wildlife passages.

  12. If you would like to see these corridors being created, read about the history of environmental easements. The amazing thing that gets me is that so very few read about these issues. I promote this site often, when attempting to pass information on In a very simple phrase, “If you want the truth, read about it on a site that deals with facts” WUWT. As far a amphibians, I could collect an old metal garbage can full of frogs in a short time, of course we would pour them on a porch and ring the door bell. “What fun being a kid”. I also noticed that most of the native Houston frogs all but disappeared. Then about 20+ years ago these species started a come back. Now I have 4 different species, and my wife gets all giddy when she sees the little ones hopping along in groups of about 20 or so. Amphibian’s are these not warm blooded creatures?

  13. There is a corridor from Canada to Florida already well established, and it is used quite heavily in the winter months by flocks of Canadians going south.

  14. Create corridors, 1st stop dredging rivers. make sure all reservoirs for flood control are dammed. People will then be more adapt to move. Brazos river flooding.

      • You are correct, as in the link below you will see that all mitigation toward alleviating flooding, The reservoirs were removed from the flood plan by encroaching cities for their own water supply. During the Richmond Texas flood 3 of the reservoirs were open to release more water into the Brazos.
        The Texas drought from 2006 through early 2015 created sand bars and excess increase in silt to build up. Between closed flood reservoirs and increase height in the river bottom, Well there ya go.

  15. Why did the chicken cross the road? Because he couldn’t find a “climate corridor”. And Col. Sanders was chasing him.

    Mule deer and elk move up and down mountains based on the season – they have no need of a corridor. Sadly, some do get hit by cars. Just as I was moving out of Washington state, they were building something for the deer to go under (or was it over) I-90. Do the deer use it? I never heard. Do the deer even care?

  16. I hit an Eastern Kingsnake while mowing my yard the other day. At least I thought I did. Couldn’t be, though, as there are no corridors for it in my urban environment.

    Corridor fans grossly underestimate the ability of wildlife to spread, even in URBAN environments.

  17. Most have stated it clearly here, adaptive. If you have ever been to Nasa in Webster Texas. You will see all the Deer grazing in the East corner
    right off of Nase Rd 1. These are not tame deer, these are the local population that run through the bayous and local fields.

  18. It could also mean building natural overpasses that would allow animals to cross highways,
    ====
    Our highway has underpasses made for animals to use…
    alligators and crocodiles set up residence in them
    …and now no animals will use them

    Seems these brilliant people would have figured that out first………

    • One of the listed authors is from the Nature Conservancy. They are a nonprofit charity.

  19. Back in the early 70’s I worked with a wildlife biologist on designing migration locations on Interstate highways. These consisted of either grade separated (ie tunnels) or limited access (low or no fencing) in certain areas where species like bear, deer or moose would have seasonal migration patterns.

    We learned that after the initial Interstate construction, it was amazing how quickly the wildlife adapted and how often they used the access areas to safely cross the “boundry”.

    • Yirgach, ….. “social” animal species, ….. wolves, Lions, Crows, some Otter species, etc, will oftentimes quickly adapt to environmental stimuli simply because they learn new “tricks” from their parents and other members in their “social” group.

      But most animal species are “solitary” animals and they don’t communicate with one another, but on the contrary, they are “fighting” competitors of one another.

      And, “Beauty is only in the eyes of the beholder” …… so be leery of what you “behold” to be animal adaptations.

  20. Well if you need to build a case for land confiscation, you start with Bambi and work your way down to all the “cute” mammals to play the emotional appeal. Next you show that any sort of human activity kills these emotionally connected cuties. Finally you show up with guns and run the humans off the land and herd them into their 300 square foot boxes in the city.

    This is how the watermelons play the game.

  21. http://wspa.com/2015/06/08/black-bear-sighting-in-spartanburg/

    Not possible! There are no corridors!

    “Climate” corridors adds a new level of silliness. Few wild animals survive to ten years old. Century scale change will not be noticed by animals in their lifetime.

    A change in weather in unlikely to stir new/different movement in a species that doesn’t already move. Existing dispersion of species is quite adequate to deal with long term weather change – “climate change.”

    ‘The issue is especially critical in the Southeast, which could provide routes to cooler northern climates as temperatures rise.’

    Idiots. How would a wild animal know that it is cooler to the north? How would they know which way is north?

    Corridor Fans perceive barriers where none exist. They look at I-85 with their eyes, not the eyes of animals.

    http://www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/bear/sightings.html

    Bears are dispersing even to the coast of SC. In the southeast, where the lack of corridors ‘is especially critical.’

  22. [snip – off topic .mod]

    Ironically, it is the suburbs that are fast becoming wildlife preserves: safe areas where no one farms or hunts and there’s lots of discarded food and exotic foliage to eat.

    • To the mod: You snipped me but not the exact same point made by Clay Marley a few minutes later (Agenda 21 incorporates the Sierra Club’s “Deep Wildlife” idea) ? You left in the off-topic snipe about the US-Mexico border wall? Or ResourceGuy’s decision to drop Georgetown from his college list? How about some consistency, amigo. I spent a bit of time working out the comment you censored, which was not apparently any more off-topic than a lot of stuff you let through. Not that I don’t still love you ….

      [moderation is done by different people at different times, and sometimes later mods on duty aren’t aware of previous snips unless they wade through a stack of old comments. admittedly it is imperfect .mod]

  23. This is what happens when you legalize marijuana…… 2/3rds of the area they identified in the eastern half of the states is FOREST/FARM LAND…… There are more deer and critters than people!

  24. How about climate corridors for all the Mexican’s heading north into the US to escape climate change? How can this happen after Trump builds a wall?

    That explains why no wall is needed heading into Canada. It leaves the Americans an escape route.

  25. Wait. The BBC has finally realized that people can live in the “hottest place on earth”. Maybe Mexicans don’t need to escape their climate.

    http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160614-the-people-and-creatures-living-in-earths-hottest-place

    The Sun scorches the cracked earth, a wavering mirage confuses the eye, and dry air and dust suck the moisture from your mouth and eyes. Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression is one of the hottest, driest and lowest places on the planet.

    The area is located in the Afar Region of north-west Ethiopia near the border with Eritrea. The climate here can only be described as cruel. But against all odds, people do live here. The Afar people call it their home.

  26. The left has been bullying the Boy Scouts for years. Now, when all those species need help crossing the road…

  27. This sounds to me like an attempt to justify elements of the Deep Ecology/Wildlands Project, which has been around since the 90’s. Deep Ecology is a green neo-pagan movement that wants a “substantial decrease” in the human population to save the planet. The Wildlands Project wants to force the few remaining humans into isolated enclaves, creating vast natural corridors, or “wildways”, for habitat connectivity, to allow free movement of, well nature I guess, while restricting human movement.

    I had never heard of this until my mother gave me a membership to the Sierra Club as a birthday gift probably 20 years ago, and I looked in to the philosophy they were promoting.

    • “Biology” at Tech, at least when I was there, was shorthand for “pre-med.” Got a lot of friends that went on to be great doctors. Maybe that’s changed, but the school has always had, and as far as I know still has, a very no-nonsense view of training engineers and scientists.

  28. Would somebody please tell the deer, coyote, and multiple other sundry forest animals to take the &@$#ing connectivity corridor instead of my yard!?!?!?!

    • Pamela:

      Exactly right! Either that or provide a corridor so the Hostas can migrate out of my yard to escape the deer. I don’t think climate change is replacing beautiful leafy hostas with nibbled stumps overnight.

    • Pamela –

      Why? (If they are eating your plants, put up a low electric fence around your plants and coat it with peanut butter. They’ll stop visiting your garden and go to a less shocking place.)

      The white wire in the photo is electric fence. Keeps the moose around here from breaking my fences down.

      But I am guessing you are just kidding?

      Yard Deer:

    • Pamela, you misunderstand … your yard IS the corridor and it is of great benefit to the rest of us.

      Please continue to maintain it as such so we don’t have to take it from you.

  29. Come on people. The concept of wildlife corridors is a solid proven benefit for all sorts of wilderness critters. The STUPID is of course tying this to CLIMATE CHANGE. Animals will stay off roads, for the most part, if they have the option.

    • Glenn999, you have got to be kidding. Animals don’t know “road” from “deer path”. The only way they will avoid a road is to not have a road there in the first place.

      • Many animals love using roads starting with road runners who were given that name many years ago due to them loving to wait for a car and then rush across the road. Wild animals call roads ‘dinner’. That is, any unlucky animal that fails to cross is food for many other animals especially the vultures who patrol all the highways happily, I see them take off every morning and soar into the sky and focus on the roadways.

      • Any attempt at training wild creatures to use specially constructed “corridors” ….

        is akin to ….. “herding” a flock of house cats.

    • Pamela Gray, emsnews
      Of course you are both right. Animals will feed on and along roadways. The point I was trying to make is that for an animal trying to travel and remain concealed, patches of forest that are connected allow that to happen, thus the effort to connect various forested areas with other forested areas.

      emsnew, from Wiki: This roadrunner is also known as the chaparral cock, ground cuckoo, and snake killer. Also: Although capable of limited flight, it spends most of its time on the ground, and can run at speeds of up to 20 mph.

    • Some animals like to travel the easiest route; Those that do like the roads. Some aren’t bright enough to know the difference. Some avoid stuff they don’t like or understand.

      Much like people.

  30. New £350,000 bat bridges installed over A11 not working, study reveals
    http://www.wymondhamandattleboroughmercury.co.uk/news/new_350_000_bat_bridges_installed_over_a11_not_working_study_reveals_1_4282672

    Designed to help bats cross roads, the bridges feature wire mesh strung high over the carriageway between two poles.

    The wire mesh is intended to replace hedgerows and trees that have been removed, giving the bat a reference point for sonar, so that they can avoid the road when flying.

    The bridges have been heavily criticised over concerns they are ineffective and a waste of money.

    Six of the bridges were installed on the new stretch of A11 between Thetford and Barton Mills, after six bat species were detected in the surrounding area before the project started in 2013.

    But a study from Anna Berthinussen and John Altringham at the University of Leeds, produced for Defra, reveals that the bridges are not helping bats avoid the road.

    I hope they come up with something better than this.

    • Bat Bridges. Now there’s something I thought I’d never hear–except maybe as the brother of Beau and Jeff or in a Lewis Carroll novel.

    • Well of course that’s not going to work, stupids. There’s no signage informing the bats of the…oh wait, bats are blind, so they couldn’t read the sign even if there was one!

      • Perhaps if the signs were in Braille?

        “You, sir, deserve a government grant to study this! Here, have $250,000. Get back to us whenever, as long as #ClimateChange™ is mentioned in a negative light.”

        “PS Please coordinate with our free-to-use mega PR firm, they will efficiently schedule press releases so as to completely inundate all media outlets with #ClimateChange™ catastrophe propa communications all the time.”

        “Remember to recycle this email!”

    • I just sent Jenny McGuire, the lead author of the referenced paper, the following email. I know it’s a forlorn hope, but just maybe we can ridicule them into submission.

      Dr. McGuire,

      I read the abstract of your PNAS paper Achieving Climate Connectivity In A Fragmented Landscape, and I want to thank you for giving me my morning laugh. If I ever write a paper on (1) Modern Man Has Too Much Free Time On His Hands, or (2) How To Milk The Anthropogenic Global Warming Climate Scare To The Maximum, I’ll use your paper as the prototypical example.

      Sincerely,

      Reed Coray

  31. So, we need a corridor for Florida crocodiles that eat children and adults to come northwards!

  32. Obvious these guys never checked with any scientists with actual knowledge

    Some plant and animal species have very large ranges,
    Some plant and animal species have very narrow ranges. For example the Norway Red Pine (one of the most magnificent pine species) only grows in a narrow range of minnesota, wisconsin and michigan. Its range is limited by both climate conditions and soil conditions. Certain species of plants will only grow in under very specific types of soil conditions and likewise animal species whose diets consists of those plant species will have a corresponding narrow range. Many animal species have a very limited diet. Humans are one of the major exceptions to that rule, in that they can thrive on a very expansive range of foods.

    In summary – for those plant species that have a limited range due to soil conditions and content, we have to built corridors for the soil to move to mitigate the negative effects of global warming.

  33. Plant seeds are often carried on the wind and in bird poop.
    They don’t need “corridors” to expand their range.

  34. Most species of plants and animals already have ranges that extend over thousands of miles.
    Having to move a mile or two because the earth warmed a few tenths of a degree won’t stress them a bit.

  35. Many dollars spent in Colorado the past few years to fence the I-70 right-a-way to keep the elk and deer off the highway. They did construct openings/ramps in the fence every so often so that if a deer or elk happened to get inside the fence it could get out. So much for corridors.

  36. Anyone who has driven across the E. US should know that there is forest everywhere and fields. The idea that a highway or corn field prevents any animal and most plants from migrating is simply absurd. All animals will cross fields and only a handful of amphibians will be unable to cross a road. Invading plants have spread across huge regions with no help from man, including trees. So all mammals, birds, insects, reptiles and plants are free to move. A handful of amphibians and a very few poor-dispersing plants have a problem, maybe. They also make an absurd assumption that organisms must move or perish–not true. Eventually they need to move to stay competitive. You can plant most plants from E. US in Florida or even Rio and they are happy.

  37. In California they are already obsessed with corridors. They have connected the natural habitat so much that cities like Riverside are strangled by it. Great job there.

  38. IIRC, the “Agenda for the 21st Century” included a Corridors Map, where the end state would be us nasty humans crammed into Population Control Centers (also known as “Sustainable Cities”), stacked like cord wood in tiny, cramped living accommodations – with access to the next Population Control Center via State-controlled Mass Transit (trains or the like). The balance of the “Natural Corridors” – where no human interaction with the land or animals is allowed – is strictly off-limits to agriculture, recreation (hunting, fishing, joy-riding your ATV, etc.), sightseeing, and/or that roadside pit stop to relieve oneself. Verboten, I say!

    This seems to be the first feeler of the latest attempt to sway the masses into accepting this sort of change…maybe if they promise free stuff along with this, it will be acceptable to the younger generation of voters…..

    MCR

  39. This is not new . . . and while it’s nice to see awareness building, the competition is way, way ahead of the game in terms of getting it done.

    Yes, it’s about the Wildlands Project . . . although that’s now the Wildlands Network, whose website is located at http://wildlandsnetwork.org/.

    As you can see from the map in the article, the western U.S. is pretty well sewed up, at least conceptually. So now we have the “need” to sew up the east, where most are blissfully unaware of the Wildlands Network, hence the “scientific” push to gin up the Great Impending Eastern Biodiversity Catastrophe (If we Fail to Immediately Hemorrhage Trillions of Bucks Out of the Productive Economy) campaign. Hmmm . . . make that “scientism” instead of “scientific” and we are likely closer on target.

    It’s not quite all the way into Deep Ecology . . . unless you factor in a planet slouching zombie-like toward WW-III. It’s certainly deeply mired in conservation biology, though. You can learn more about conservation biology at http://consbio.org/, the Conservation Biology Institute’s website.

    It’s no accident that the federal dollars for this study came from the National Park Service (NPS). NPS is part of the Department of Interior (DOI). DOI agencies have been given the lead for climate change adaptation via connectivity and corridors. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is another DOI agency, and it took up the corridor game several years ago using the Endangered Species Act (ESA) bludgeon as its primary tool. More recently, the DOI’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) put its draft revision to its Big Planning Rule In the Sky, 43 CFR Part 1600 out for comment. The comment period is now closed, but the key point is that the proposed revision moves all of BLM’s federal lands management planning from being jurisdiction based to landscape based . . . and landscape based planning is necessary for corridor establishment. Landscape planning blurs or removed geopolitical boundaries from the planning picture. The kicker there is that land management planning for all other federal agencies will have to be consistent with the BLM’s planning process.

    One of the larger land management agencies is the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) U.S. Forest Service (USFS). There are a lot of National Forests in the east.

    Another recent study found that the most effective wildlife corridors are those that follow riparian zones (river systems.) This brings the Department of Defense (DOD) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) into the framework . . . which means that they will be acting with their buddies at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) based on the Clean Water Act.

    What’s already in play that “needs” a boost, though?

    The formal establishment of the Eastern Wildway.

    Focused on the Appalachian spine, more specifically on the Appalachian Trail, the Eastern Wildway is envisioned to connect the Acadian forests of Canada’s Maritimes to the Everglades in Florida. A more complete description of it is located on the Wildlands Network website at http://wildlandsnetwork.org/wildways/eastern-wildway.

    Now, following the federal dollar trail, how do you get there?

    Well, there are several National Parks and other NPS units along the way, coupled with a bunch of National Forests. These all “need” to be connected with one another. There’s the Appalachian Trail itself, which is part of the NPS National Scenic Trail system. (NPS is “partnered” with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy for that one.) The only break in that corridor base is from North Georgia to the Everglades.

    The Appalachian Trail would be the center of the Eastern Wildway’s core. Wildway cores need huge buffers to be considered effective. The Clean Water Act (EPA, USACE) and the ESA (USFWS) work well to help establish and build those, particularly using keystone predators (red wolf in the southeast, gray wolf subspecies everywhere else) and other wide-ranging endangered or threatened species (bat species being hammered by white nose syndrome throughout the designated Eastern Wildway) do the trick there.

    Add to all of this the establishment of national monuments (also managed by the DOI’s agencies) through strokes of the Executive Pen, and you can see where the Georgia Tech study logically leads.

    Nothing new. Already happening.

  40. I look forward to “Slow – Children at Play” signs being replaced with “Slow – Climate Connectivity Corridor” signs.

    Climate Science is late to the party though, Social sciences has been way ahead with the creation of “Safe Places”.

    • We have one or more sign posters in my community. A favorite is “drive like your children live here.” Recently, someone has posted signs saying “slow down, turtle crossing.” I have lived here since 1977 and have never seen a turtle cross the road where the signs are posted.

  41. Plant species that have a narrow ranges are typically due to soil content and conditions. Many plant species require acidic soils and many plant species require alkaline soils. the natural ranges for those plants stop abuptly when the soil content changes.

    maybe the climate scientists should concentrate on creating corridors for soils to move in order to mitigate a warming climate.

  42. A series of safe-spaces would need to be designated in this situation. The mammals’ identity need to be respected, no-predatory zones designated & the right to perform bodily functions without regard to other mammals territory guaranteed.

    Plants’ safe-spaces must give those which feel threatened by the presence of some kinds of insects the option to avoid any interaction. All contact between parties must be done within the context of affirmative consent to each phase of interaction. Ripe fruit bearing plants shall be deemed to have impaired faculties when approached by an insect due to fermentable soluble sugar phloem content.

    Insects with parasitic relationship to another insect that has entered a safe-space along the corridor is obliged to refrain from parasitizing activity for the duration of it’s host insect stay.
    Host insects in a safe-space must be provided with counselling for traumatic stress and given appropriate comfort.

    Micro-organisms with relationships to both plants & mammals, whether external or internal, once in a safe-space shall not be profiled based on whether they are beneficial or pathogenic symbionts. Furthermore discrimination based on phages in any microbe will be prevented by not categorizing any phage propensity.

    Virus are not to be induced toward any expression of virulence while in safe-spaces. As such all social media shall be monitored & Viro-phobia avoided so self-virulence never happens.

    Decree to be valid in all parts of the globe under punishment by loss of virtue signalling, void where prohibited by tribal warlords…..//

  43. Whoa, there’s a good sized chunk of Maine that is colored gray (never succeed) That’s the Allagash Wilderness. Trees, no roads, lakes, no roads, rivers, no roads, and lots more trees. You can’t even get there easily to study it.

    I don’t understand the “never succeed” unless it means any critter that goes in there is going to freeze to death before it comes back out.

    • Essentially the study shows that we need to focus our regulatory efforts on the west, ’cause that’s where we can be successful.

      Personally, I would like to see corridors for the expansion of Carolina dog habitat; reintroduction of viable wolf populations along the entire eastern seaboard (along with the necessary connecting corridors); and on site mitigation of the lost wetland areas throughout Washington DC (along with the necessary corridors to allow for natural re-population with native species). Of course the people that live in those areas would like to see corridors and their associated impacts located/expanded in other areas….

      • The west is already highly overregulated, and doesn’t need more federal “help” than it has already been subjected to.

        I wouldn’t be over-worried about the wolves. Left to themselves, they will continue expanding to occupy the entirety of their former ranges without any additional assistance. There will, of course, be the usual snarlygusting that will inevitably arise whenever they move into new territory and suburban/exurban homeowners start losing their kitties and doggies to the wolves. Livestock owners will also need to be compensated for their losses, and children will be further isolated from their natural surroundings because their parents won’t let them out of their yards.

        Are you sure that’s what you want?

      • There’s really no need for large predators in human environments. We fill that niche just fine, and frankly we don’t need wolves attacking livestock or people.

      • He did say “Eastern Seaboard”.

        IE, inflict on those easterners the same treatment they have been inflicting on the rest of us.

      • Norm … you are right. My point being that I would like to see an equal standard of government harassment. The best way to get rid of a bad law, regulation, or policy is to enforce it equally across the (eastern sea) board.

        Joel … “… no need for large predators in human environments….”
        I would need a definition of “non-human environment” before commenting further.

      • ‘I would need a definition of “non-human environment” before commenting further.’

        I thought my statement was pretty straightforward. Predators are ecologically necessary where game animals overpopulate. That’s not the case in areas of human population.

  44. And as always, the real threat of Climate Change is what people will try and do about it. You can’t exorcize a demon that isn’t there, but you sure can mess up the patient trying.

  45. So….what’s with all the turbines clogging the “connectivity corridors”? This is as stupid as the plan to move the migratory corridors for birds to accommodate the wind industry. Who comes up with this crap and why do we fund it??!!

  46. I can’t help wondering if the authors of this paper were at least partially inspired by the efforts of Bolivia to have the UN adopt human rights for birds, bees, and trees.

    Then again, they might also have been inspired by “peer reviewed” material contained in the (then) new Journal of Animal Ethics. As I had noted a few weeks later, in their maiden editorial, the editors (a theologian and a philosopher) had declared that:

    [W]e need to be mindful of our words. … [This has] major implications for how we conceptualize and think about the many worlds of animals. … The words we use reflect and solidify our existing perceptions.

    […] the past is littered with derogatory terminology: “brutes,” “beasts,” “bestial,” “critters,” “subhuman,” and the like. We will not be able to think clearly unless we discipline ourselves to use more impartial nouns and adjectives in our exploration of animals and our moral relations with them.

    […]
    Unless we address the power of misdescription, we shall never be able to think straight, let alone see straight (that is, impartially or, at least, with some measure of objectivity). Even “animals” is itself a term of abuse (which hides the reality of what it purports to describe, namely a range of differentiated beings of startling variety and complexity). … We shall not possess a new understanding of animals unless we actively challenge the language we use, which is the language of historic denigration.

    And to think we have the chutzpah to be concerned that there are some who damn us with the D-word!

    Amazing, eh?!

  47. Well we have the roads now but will there be any fossil fuels for homo sapiens to use them? As for the animals they can easily adapt like the polar bears learning to fly but it’s every exploding schoolchild for themselves I’m afraid.

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