Espoo is unique in the sense that it is located in the densely built-up metropolitan area, but simultaneously houses a large proportion of the forests and green networks in Uusimaa. Fractured green areas and disconnected ecological corridors put urban wildlife under growing pressure.
Wildlife corridors must be taken into account on a large scale, and extended in different directions also outside city borders. The functionality of the corridors and networks is monitored and evaluated on a continuous basis.
What do wildlife corridors and the green network do?
Wildlife corridors are like paths, which allow fauna and flora to transfer from one place to another. Valuable habitats, ordinary green spaces and the corridors between them form a green network, where different species can move and spread. Isolated patches with no functional corridors do not provide a viable, long-term habitat to any number of species, and may gradually disappear despite conservation.
What are wildlife corridors like?
Wildlife corridors are usually forests, but flowing waters also form good connections. Although any definite sizes or other specifications are difficult to determine, wildlife corridors are vital to biodiversity: if animals are not able to move from one area to another, biodiversity will suffer and possibly lead to extinction. Different species need different types of corridors. The Flying squirrel, for example, is happy with a path made of trees sufficiently close to each other, while aquatic animals require continuous water routes between different areas.
A wildlife corridor does not need to be anything special in terms of its ecological value, or fit for each particular species. A corridor, which allows for the movement of animals, even on a temporary basis, is sufficient. Furthermore, green corridors are also important to human welfare and recreation.