Focused on Landscape Connections
The goal of the Staying Connected Initiative (SCI) is to maintain, enhance and restore landscape connectivity for wide-ranging mammals across the Northern Appalachians/Acadian region, in order to mitigate the impacts of habitat fragmentation and climate change.
Linkage Areas: Conserving Connectivity Building Blocks
Central to that goal has been the definition of nine linkage areas: geographically defined places where—if landscape connectivity is lost—bear, moose, bobcat and other wide-ranging mammals will be limited in their ability to move between core habitat areas and across the region. Please see the map below for the location of the linkage areas.
These linkage areas are extremely important to wildlife. Not only do individual animals need to be able to move freely to obtain food, mates, and to meet other life needs, linkages to core habitat areas will allow animals to migrate as their habitats change in response to climate change, and over time these linkages will help maintain genetic diversity within wildlife populations.
Within each ainkage area there are smaller areas, sometimes called stepping stones. Located between core areas, stepping stones are small patches of intact habitat that provide resources and refuge for species and provide pathways for wildlife movement.
By maintaining existing links in the landscape and preventing further habitat fragmentation within the linkage areas we work to ensure that wildlife within our region has the ability to move where, when and as far as needed.