Connectivity Conservation for Resilience in Changing Climates

Dr Gary Tabor1, Kathleen Carroll2

1Center For Large Landscape Conservation / IUCN-WCPA Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group, Bozeman, United States

2Montana State University


Rapid changes in climate and diminishing biodiversity are challenging the planet’s resilient capacity to respond to large-scale human and natural disturbances. Protected area and species-specific conservation strategies remain the cornerstones of saving nature. Yet many protected areas exist as ecological fragments in a matrix of incompatible terrestrial, freshwater, and marine uses. Connectivity conservation is becoming widely recognized by scientists and policy-makers as a key tool to maximize the ecological integrity of protected area systems and networks.

As the impacts of climate change increase, connectivity conservation enhances resilience by avoiding further fragmentation of nature. Emphasis is on continuing the vital flow of ecological processes by which wildlife populations, genes, nutrients, and energy move among distinct habitats or ecosystems. To simultaneously address the biodiversity and climate crises, the Center for Large Landscape Conservation is building networks of institutions and individuals to advance conceptual approaches and lead development and implementation of consistent practices for connectivity conservation around the world.

This presentation will highlight the developments, priorities, and opportunities for connectivity conservation to safeguard and restore the links underpinning ecosystem services and planetary well-being. Participants will learn how connectivity conservation is the next logical step in the development of conservation measures for natural and semi-natural terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems outside of standard protected and conserved areas. This will result in ecological networks that are more resilient, adaptable to global change, and have the ability to meet the needs of present and future generations.


Kathleen Carroll is a Ph.D. Candidate from Montana State University. Kathleen completed two undergraduate degrees from the University of Maine in Wildlife Ecology and Marine Science cum laude and a Masters of Science from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in Environmental Science. She has studied wildlife in Africa, South America, and North America. She has backgrounds in wildlife conservation, marine biology, behavioral ecology, landscape ecology, statistics, education, and science communication. Her understanding across a broad range of disciplines has provided her with a unique perspective on connectivity science and management strategies across a range of taxa.

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