Connectivity conservation projects such as GER create linkages across the landscape between protected areas and other patches of habitat. There are several different elements that contribute to connectivity within a landscape, as illustrated in the diagram below:
- Linear corridors: a strip of vegetation that connects two larger protected areas.
- Landscape corridors: a series of generally small habitat patches that overlap to connect two larger areas.
- Stepping stones: small, disconnected patches of habitat (including isolated paddock trees) that provide temporary shelter and resources for animals travelling across open spaces between larger protected areas.
- Buffer zones: land surrounding core habitat areas that is managed in ways that are compatible with biodiversity conservation (e.g. sustainable agricultural properties). These are transitional areas that can help protect important habitat from the pressures caused by other land uses in the broader landscape.
GER is undertaking a range of projects to create buffers and connections throughout the GER corridor. This includes supporting the protection and management of existing vegetation linkages, both on public lands and on private properties, and creating or restoring linkages through revegetation. GER also works with landholders to create buffer zones by managing productive land in a way that is compatible with conservation goals.
GER and its partners also work with land managers to ensure that conservation areas and landscape linkages receive ongoing sustainable management, so that they continue to provide conservation benefits. For example, GER supports projects to control introduced species in and around core protected areas, buffer zones and corridors, so that these areas inhibit, rather than promote, the spread of pest animals and weeds across the landscape.