The concept of a biological or ecological corridor entails preserving the connections between protected areas with important biodiversity with the aim of preventing the fragmentation of natural habitats. Today these corridors are being promoted as an innovative way to promote sustainable development as well as conservation.
A search for information on the Internet about this type of natural conservation project shows that the most talked about initiative today is the Meso-American Biological Corridor, which covers the countries of Central America and the southern Mexican states. But it is not the only effort of this kind.
There are natural corridor projects under way in Brazil's Amazon and Atlantic forests, in the Andean zones of Ecuador (in Spanish) and Peru, and some smaller initiatives in Argentina and the United States. While most of the biological corridors mentioned on the Internet are located in the Americas, other regions are following this route, such as in the Black Sea region and in Bhutan.
A web site that explains the term "corridor", as it is used in the biological sense, states that this nomenclature dates back to the 1930s, though it was not until the 1960s that it was proposed as a way of uniting nature preserves or other areas to protect species diversity.
The corridors should permit an increase in the size and possibilities for survival of the smaller populations of species, according to the web site. But to be effective, these corridors must be well designed.
The fundamental goal of biological corridors is the conservation of ecosystems.
A Brazilian web page states that corridors encompass areas of exceptional biodiversity. One such case is the Brazilian Atlantic forest, where a project has found that ecosystems there have become "islands of nature". The challenge of the corridors "is to re-establish interconnection".
In the case of the Meso-American Biological Corridor, emphasis is on preserving a relatively small area that is nevertheless home to a great diversity of plant and animal species.