The Housatonic valley is a keystone in a vast wildlife corridor stretching from the Hudson River to the remote forests of eastern Canada.
When habitat is destroyed, the animals that live there have a harder time finding food and shelter. Over time, the numbers of species decline and extinction becomes more likely.
Here in the Housatonic Valley, we see this happening on two different fronts: the loss of connected forests and the loss of connected freshwater habitats.
Loss of Connected Forest Habitat:
Wildlife – and even plants – need room to move! Unbroken stretches of forested land act as a “wildlife highway,” providing shelter, safety and food sources they need to thrive. As human populations in our area grow, these connected forests get fragmented into smaller parcels by poorly-planned development, commerce and roadways.Without strategic vision and protection, individual core forests will dwindle and ultimately erode the ecological integrity of the region. The Follow the Forest Initiative unites land trusts and communities against the persistent threat of forest fragmentation.
Loss of Connected Freshwater Habitat
Just as connected forests provide safe passage, so do connected rivers, tributaries and streams! Fish, salamanders, turtles and more all rely on unbroken passages to support their lifecycles. But dams and road crossings are man-made barriers stranding wildlife, or forcing them to cross dangerous roadways.