In these days of digital technology, with our mobile phones and internet it’s easier than ever for us humans to stay connected to the rest of society. If only staying connected was so easy for the wildlife!
As the virtual world wide web increases its ability to connect human beings across the planet, the very real and necessary world wide “web of life” is becoming increasingly fragmented. As wonderful as the virtual world is, we need to apply some serious work into ensuring the world wide “web of life” stays connected or we are in for some serious repercussions. For those of you who have become “connected” to the virtual world, just imagine if the world wide web disappeared…would life ever be the same for you again (and this virtual world has only been around for most of us for a mere 20 years or less!). Unfortunately we don’t have to imagine what will happen if the world wide web of life starts to crumble (were there already). This real world has taken over 4 billion years to evolve. Compared to the mere inconvenience of the loss of the internet, the loss of the world wide “web of life” has far reaching consequences for us all.
Unfortunately for our wildlife, their ability to communicate and move through the landscape is now extremely limited, which has and continues to lead to localised extinctions and reductions in species diversity. Where there was once boundless forest there are now scattered remnants from a few hundred acres in size to scattered trees. They sit there like islands of the old forest in a sea of grass.
So what can we all do individually to keep our real world functioning and healthy and connected? What can we do to help the ecosystems that support all of life across the planet?
The solution is simple, we must reconnect the remaining forest remnants so that wildlife can move freely through the landscape again.
To continue our internet analogy. We measure the flow of information (of connection) on the world wide web using kilobytes, megabytes etc…
With our real world, it’s the flow of genes by which we measure the flow of information (of connection). It’s the ability of animals and plants to move through the landscape that allows the world wide web of life to function. Unfortunately gene flow is at best poor and our wildlife are often lucky to be able to connect at dial up level and often the server is down! Now more than ever it’s time to plant native plants, to try and help get our local wildlife back on the network, so they too, can stay connected.