About The Corridor

The History of Florida Wildlife Corridor

The History of Florida Wildlife Corridor Science and Planning Efforts

The concept of a statewide ecological corridor is not new to Florida. The Florida Wildlife Corridor relies on and continues the decades of work by numerous scientists and conservation organizations that determined the need for landscape-scale conservation approaches, and specifically corridors, as a way to address habitat loss and fragmentation across Florida. These decades long efforts brought into play the right combination of people, need, and opportunity, resulting in arguably the most ambitious landscape conservation plan of any U.S. state. In the 1960s and 1970s E.O. Wilson and Robert MacArthur had a strong influence on the development of modern conservation science, including the new discipline of Conservation Biology in the 1980s.  Leading researchers, Reed Noss and Larry Harris advocated a comprehensive regional landscape approach that recognized the need for working at large scales and integrating both protected and more intensive land uses to maximize conservation efforts.  Harris and Noss authored a series of articles and book chapters in the mid-1980s discussing the importance of ecological connectivity, wildlife corridors, and the protection of functionally connected networks of conservation lands. This included detailing the strategic value of protecting specific tracts of land in Florida that would result in larger, connected conservation networks.  In 1985 Noss proposed the first statewide ecological network.

Corridor Planning PDF

For more information about the history of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Planning Efforts, download our pdf.

Our Corridor By The Numbers

Missing Links

Critical Linkages of The Corridor

One of the core foci of our current and future mission is to advocate for the protection of the Missing Links in the Corridor.

These “Missing Links” are built on a foundation of wildlife corridor work in Florida over two decades, and follow the map of the Florida Ecological Greenways Network (FEGN; See Map). In the early 2000s the FEGN identified those corridors considered most important for providing habitat for wide-ranging species like the Florida panther and Florida black bear.

The Links Between the Protected Lands

The FEGN’s highest priorities, named “Critical Linkages”, identify the best remaining opportunities to functionally connect major existing public and private conservation lands across the state. Once protected, the Critical Linkages would connect all of Florida’s largest existing conservation lands into one functional statewide ecological network.

These same Critical Linkages are our “Missing Links” in the Florida Wildlife Corridor. In fact, the 2012 Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition followed their trail through much of the Florida peninsula.

In 2013, the Legacy Institute for Nature and Culture (LINC) — now part of the Florida Wildlife Corridor — commissioned prominent conservation photographers to capture images of priority lands that remained unprotected to help raise awareness about their importance.

As a result, 15 Florida Forever projects are showcased via photographs, parcel descriptions and the blog series “A View From the Other Side of the Lens.” LINC also produced the Florida Wildlife Corridor Critical Linkages GeoStory in partnership with National Geographic’s Map Division.