Inquiring Minds - Wildlife Corridors

Flagstaff, AZ – We may have lost the grizzly bear, but NAU's Dr. Paul Beier is working to make sure Arizona's wildlands don't lose other species.

This is Inquiring Minds, insights from the campus of Northern Arizona University.

Elk, squirrels and other animals are running around the woods with collars around their necks. These collars are sending signals to satellites that are sending signals to biologists.

NAU's Professor of Conservation Biology and Wildlife Ecology, Dr. Paul Beier, is very interested in what these high-tech necklaces are telling us.

"What's exciting about this research is it's an opportunity to do something that matters."

He is concerned about wildlife corridors. These are the pathways animals like deer, foxes and antelope use to move across the land. With climate change and human population growth, he says habitat is disappearing right under their feet.

But with this information, he says we have the science to build wildlife corridors into large forest restoration projects. Beier is developing maps detailing links for wild areas.

"We're creating landscapes that are more permeable than landscapes we had a decade or two decades ago."

Groups likes the U.S. Forest Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department and Arizona Department of Transportation are working with NAU's School of Forestry. They're charting a course for staying a step ahead of animals on the move.