12 ways to protect the land

STEP 5: Ecological corridors

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Ecological corridors provide connections to islands of natural areas, protecting them by providing environmental avenues in the landscape. The conservation value of island patches is greatly improved by the corridors which provide migration routes for populations of plants and animals that would otherwise be isolated and could die out. Movement of species is one of the keys to diversity, a hallmark of species health.

You can create corridors along water courses, rocky ridges and roads without sacrificing valuable agricultural land. Wherever possible, ecological corridors should cross farm boundaries so that species can move from farm to farm without hindrance. The wider the corridor, the more effective it will be. A minimum width of 50m is necessary but 100m or more is recommended.

Benefits to you
Weedy habitats are compatible with the principles of integrated pest management because they provide refuges for the predators that help to control crop pests. Areas previously considered wastelands now perform an essential function on the farm.

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Note: From this week, this series will be appearing in alternate issues.

Source: Harrison, J. & Young, D. 2010. Farming for the Future: Farming Sustainably with Nature. Animal Demography Unit, University of Cape Town.