Wildlife Corridor Policies and Their Effect on Habitat Connectivity in Florida

Material Information

Wildlife Corridor Policies and Their Effect on Habitat Connectivity in Florida
Canavan, Caitlin
Place of Publication:
[Gainesville, Fla.]
College of Design, Construction and Planning, University of Florida
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
Project in lieu of thesis

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Master's ( Master of Science in Architectural Studies)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Committee Chair:
Walters, Bradley Scott
Committee Co-Chair:
Ries, Robert


Subjects / Keywords:
Biological corridors ( jstor )
Connectivity ( jstor )
Ecology ( jstor )
Ecosystems ( jstor )
Habitat destruction ( jstor )
Habitat loss ( jstor )
Regional transportation ( jstor )
Urban economics ( jstor )
Wildlife damage management ( jstor )
Wildlife habitats ( jstor )


The focus of this paper is the relationship between habitat connectivity and wildlife corridors. In particular, this study will provide a detailed review of plans and designs that have been implemented in the state of Florida and their effects on this ecological relationship. In recent decades, policies affecting urban development and transportation throughout Florida have been extremely detrimental to the environment on both local and regional scales. The urban development boundary in South Florida has been hotly contested among developers and environmental protection groups, and development has trended toward ecologically damaging urban sprawl (Schwartz, 2011). The negative consequences of urban sprawl in the state are numerous, but of particular concern is the fragmentation of crucial habitat that sustains a variety of species. Especially near the Everglades, which is a highly biodiverse ecosystem, policies affecting the location and size of new development have caused habitat loss and fragmentation. In light of the habitat destruction and loss of biodiversity that has resulted from uncontrolled urban sprawl, Florida has created a system of wildlife corridors in an attempt to reconnect key areas of habitat and protect the ecosystem from further damage. This paper will evaluate the successes and failures of wildlife corridor policies and designs in Florida. ( , )
Major primary sources that I consulted included the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. In terms of policy and legislation, this study focuses specifically on the State Wildlife Action Plan, transfer of development rights, and other policies passed that attempt to address habitat fragmentation and wildlife corridors to improve connectivity. These policies provide the main framework from which to understand wildlife corridor policy in Florida. I consulted studies of indicator species such as the far-roaming Florida Panther, but as this is an endangered and small population in the state. On a smaller scale within the Florida Everglades, I focus on alligators, which are abundant and provide an important indication of hydrologic connectivity in restoration areas. Stephen DeStefano's work on habitat connectivity and the function of wildlife corridors informs this study in that I take a similar approach to evaluating ecosystem health from multiple perspectives using a variety of indicators. Finally, studies by Dr. Katrina Schwarz on transfer of development rights in Florida Panther habitat provide a background from which to assess the progress of efforts to conserve crucial habitat areas and achieve connectivity for many other species.
General Note:
sustainable design terminal project

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Jillian S. Becker. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
1022120888 ( OCLC )


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