UBC News, June 2, 2022: Canada ranks third worldwide in permeable landscapes for wildlife
Global policies call for connecting protected areas (PAs) to conserve the flow of animals and genes across changing landscapes, yet whether global PA networks currently support animal movement—and where connectivity conservation is most critical—remain largely unknown. In this study, we map the functional connectivity of the world’s terrestrial PAs and quantify national PA connectivity through the lens of moving mammals. We find that mitigating the human footprint may improve connectivity more than adding new PAs, although both strategies together maximize benefits. The most globally important areas of concentrated mammal movement remain unprotected, with 71% of these overlapping with global biodiversity priority areas and 6% occurring on land with moderate to high human modification. Conservation and restoration of critical connectivity areas could safeguard PA connectivity while supporting other global conservation priorities.