Large Landscape News

A Road Runs Through It

At the heart of the Greater Kafue Ecosystem in Western Zambia is the 22,000-square-kilometer Kafue National Park. This is Zambia’s oldest and largest park, at twice the size of Yellowstone National Park in the USA. Kafue is home to a wide range of iconic wildlife, including elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, and Africa’s most diverse antelope community. This protected area faces many significant threats, but most concerning is the M9—a high-speed highway that bisects or borders 143 kilometers of the park and adjacent Mumbwa Game Management Area. The M9 is notorious for wildlife-vehicle collisions, including the death of 11 endangered African wild dogs to vehicle collisions in 2022. But the Center for Large Landscape Conservation is working to change this with a newly launched project. 

USBN Launches Biweekly Biosphere Bites Virtual Seminar Series

On March 13th, the US Biosphere Network (USBN) launched the “Biosphere Bites” biweekly seminar series. The 30-minute talks take place every other week on ZOOM to give biosphere regions and partners an opportunity to share knowledge, ideas, and resources across our national and international networks. These informal, virtual presentations are designed to connect the USBN to local, regional, and international partners and highlight the important work that is being done in biosphere regions to improve the human connection to nature and make progress towards the sustainable development goals.

The Center Sponsors Book Tour of “CROSSINGS” Author Ben Goldfarb

Back in 2013, conservation journalist Ben Goldfarb toured the Highway 93 wildlife crossings on the Flathead Reservation with crossings expert Marcel Huijser, Center road ecologist Kylie Paul, and others. Little did he know that that day in Montana would send him on a journey to learn more about this world of wildlife crossings, culminating in his literary feat, CROSSINGS: How Road Ecology Is Shaping The Future of Our Planet. Roads are an omnipresent form of travel, but most humans neglect to recognize them as an obstruction to nature’s natural processes as they bisect habitats and fragment landscapes.

Leave the Light Off: Helping Out Migratory Birds

A cloud of slate gray stirring above the riverbed. The synchronous flapping of wings, eager and ready for the journey to the north. During this time of year, an estimated 3.5 billion birds take flight toward the northern U.S. and Canada as the spring migration is underway. During the long journey, they will have to contend with a pernicious source of pollution emanating from towns and cities: artificial light. Birds rely on light as an indicator of daily and seasonal change, and human light “pollution” can have serious negative effects on migrating birds, jeopardizing their ability to move safely through the night sky. 

​​​​Planning for Jaguar Habitat Connectivity in the Large Pantanal-Chaco Landscape of South America​

​​​As the world trends towards rapid and unchecked development, ​​protected areas pay the price by becoming more and more isolated.​​ ​​​​​ Case in point: the ​​​large region of South America that is covered by two ecosystems, the Pantanal (the largest tropical wetland) and the Gran Chaco (South America’s largest seasonally dry tropical forests)​ is at risk of encroachment and fragmentation​. The region—the size of Texas, California, and Montana combined—cover​s​​​ parts of four countries: Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina, and is home to an amazing array of wildlife​,​ ​​including jaguars, giant anteaters, giant otters, tapirs, hyacinth macaws, caimans, and many more. 

The Center for Large Landscape Conservation Receives 2024 Distinguished Landscape Practitioner Award

The Center for Large Landscape Conservations is proud to be the 2024 recipient of the North American Chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (IALE-NA) Distinguished Landscape Practitioner Award. This honor recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of applied landscape ecology. Landscape ecology is an interdisciplinary science broadly concerned with the study, management, planning and design of landscapes. In the face of significant transformation of natural landscapes by human communities and climate change, its importance is only growing. 

Assessment Identifies Opportunities to Reduce Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions on US 89 North of Yellowstone

Roughly 50% of all highway accidents on US 89 north of Yellowstone National Park—between Livingston and Gardiner, Montana—are wildlife related. In response to this growing and dangerous problem, a locally led partnership called Yellowstone Safe Passages (YSP) just took a major step toward finding solutions by completing a comprehensive assessment of wildlife-vehicle collisions on this stretch of highway, conducted by the Center for Large Landscape Conservation and YSP partners.

New Push to Protect Endangered Asian Elephants from Roads and Railways

A century ago, an estimated 100,000 elephants roamed throughout Asia. Today, fewer than half that number of Asian elephants remain in just 13 countries. Among the reasons for this decline is the explosion of new roads, railways and other linear infrastructure across the continent. In fact, collisions with cars and trains are a leading cause of elephant mortality in India, and many more elephants are impacted by roads and railways, causing habitat loss and fragmentation. 

The Center Leads the Charge for Ecological Connectivity at UN Negotiations to Save Migratory Wildlife

They run. They fly. They swim. Migratory species from elephants to golden eagles to sea turtles cover vast distances and often cross borders to survive. In February 2024, the Center for Large Landscape Conservation joined countries, partners, and experts in the ancient Silk Road city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan, to increase commitments and contributions to conserve migratory wildlife and their habitats around the world. Under the motto “Nature Knows No Borders,” more than 1,000 participants attended the 14th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS/CoP-14), the first to be hosted in a Central Asian country.  

Where is the Love? When habitat fragmentation hinders the search for a mate

Many remarkable long-distance migrations of wildlife occur around the world every year to ensure that animals arrive at the right place at the right time for feeding, mating, and birthing. Meanwhile, shorter-distance movements, such as those of black bears, are less epic but no less important in the quest to find suitable mates, food, and den sites. But what happens when love is in the air, but movement becomes difficult due to habitat fragmentation? The short-term effect may be a missed connection, but in the long-term, it could reduce the genetic diversity that helps keep wildlife populations healthy.  

Stay informed

Join our email list for news and updates.