Australia will need to create a wildlife corridor spanning the continent to allow animals and plants to move to cope with the effects of global warming. The impacts of climate change should be less severe in systems that remain intact and healthy.
The 2,800-kilometre climate ‘spine’ has been approved in principle by state and national governments and would link the country’s entire east coast, from the snow-capped Australian Alps in the south to the tropical north, a distance equal to that from London to Romania. How substantial the area will be and its level of protection has not been agreed upon.
Ideally, the corridor would link National Parks, State Forests and other government land to preserve scores of endangered species.
Last year Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said that climate change was occurring so fast that cooler southern towns were ‘moving’ to the warmer north at the rate of 100 kilometres each year. Native species adapted to a given region could find it difficult to shift altitude or latitude if there are obstacle courses of human landscapes throughout the country. Connectivity is just one solution, but it is an important one.