Action: Create a connective network of habitat patches and corridors to facilitate the movement of wildlife and support a diverse resilient ecological community.
Habitat patches are discrete areas, whereas habitat corridors are linear linkages that ensure connectivity between patches.
While patches are valuable and important for birds and insect species, enhancing and interconnecting urban habitat patches with larger habitat areas beyond the LA River increases biodiversity and resilience to changing conditions. Connectivity of habitat systems allows for wildlife movement, which allows for long term gene flow between populations to prevent inbreeding, seasonal migration that enables species to complete their life cycles, and the movement of individuals to find food, shelter, and mates. Isolated habitat patches that are added between two existing habitat areas, which are separated by relatively long distances, can serve as valuable “stepping-stones” that may allow more species of plants and animals to move between the existing patches. With changes in climate, some species may need to move to find more suitable habitat. It is possible that wildlife will need to relocate from hotter, more arid regions to the east and south, and that species found in lower elevations will need to migrate up slope. It is likely that wildlife will need to migrate from the northern North Mexicoan deserts to the California Floristic Province, and the LA River watershed is at the hinge point in this connection.
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