Butterflies and habitat corridors

Anne Kilmer viceroy at anu.ie
Tue Jun 15 14:28:11 EDT 1999

Laurel Godley wrote:
> What about butterflies that like a wooded (and moist) habitat?  I see more
> butterflies along stream beds... mostly wooded than I ever do in open
> fields.  I realise the article suggests that the butterflies studied (not
> all butterflies) perfer an open habitat but I would hate for anyone to take
> this article the wrong way and begin cutting down trees just to "create"
> corridors.
> Laurel
> from the sludge lagoons of San Jose, CA
I think you have misunderstood what is meant by a "corridor" in this
Think of it, not as a cleared area, but a green belt. Where possible,
existing natural areas are preserved. Parks and preserves are created to
link these areas through and around towns and cities. 
Thus, for instance, Central Park would be connected with the Hudson
River corridor by strings of parks. Wild animals can, in theory,
exchange genetic material by traveling these corridors. Without these
amenities, one gets inbred populations, and loses a lot of romantically
inclined critters who head down the highway looking for love in all the
wrong places. 
For example,to describe my own pet project, vacant land along the
railroad and Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach might be replanted to
provide habitat for the atala butterfly, the scrub jay, and even (with a
little careful installation of turtle-stops) the gopher tortoise. 
But, where land is natural habitat for one batch of native organisms,
you do not alter it to accommodate a different set. Making a woods into
a wetland because wetlands are currently politically attractive is a
crime against nature. 
Obviously you do a lot of research before you embark on this sort of
Anne Kilmer

More information about the Leps-l mailing list