California Department of Fish and Wildlife News Release
California Prioritizes Key Locations to Improve Wildlife Connectivity
Media Contact: Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 212-7352
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has released an updated report identifying the most important areas to advance wildlife connectivity projects. The report, “Restoring California’s Wildlife Connectivity 2022 (PDF)(opens in new tab),” prioritizes which roadways, railways and other human-created infrastructure are the greatest barriers to wildlife movement addressing where habitat connectivity projects are needed most. The report lists 62 obstacles statewide, with 12 of those recognized as top priority barriers to remove. A vast majority of the barriers are part of the state highway system, but rail lines and canals also limit the ability of wildlife to roam freely.
The new report underscores California’s international leadership on improving wildlife connectivity. It is also a key strategy (PDF)(opens in new tab) within California’s landmark 30×30 target, which calls for the state to conserve 30 percent of its land and coastal waters by 2030 and identifies wildlife overcrossings as a means of protecting California’s biodiversity. The new connectivity report serves as an important guide to state, federal, tribal and local governments as they work together to improve wildlife connectivity.
“Connectivity is essential to life; it’s key for us as people and the same is true for animals,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “Animals need connection to habitat, places to live, to thrive, food and water, and freedom and room to roam. This report highlights top obstacles to that freedom and room to roam within the state so California can take appropriate action to right those wrongs.”