What are Wildlife Linkages?
Wildlife linkages, or corridors, are vital to the health of an ecosystem, allowing animals, birds, reptiles, plants and water to move naturally between large open spaces. Movement through corridors is essential to their survival, allowing them to forage, mate, migrate, and disperse offspring to new home ranges.
A report released in December 2008 by South Coast Wildlands, A Linkage Design for the Joshua Tree - Twentynine Palms Connection, identifies the Joshua Tree -Twentynine Palms Connection as one of the 46 linkages that must be maintained if California’s unique biodiversity is to persist.
The Wildlife Linkage Campaign
The Joshua Tree North Wildlife Linkage is an important part of the Joshua Tree-Twentynine Palms Connection, linking Joshua Tree National Park to the 29 Palms Marine Base to the north. Elevations range from 5400 feet, where bighorn sheep, mountain lion, mule deer and bobcat live, to 2400 feet, where desert tortoise, kit fox, American badger and other small animals find habitat. Rare birds such as golden eagle, prairie falcon, LeConte’s thrasher and Costa’s hummingbird also use this linkage for foraging and nesting.
Our Current Commitment
To date, Mojave Desert Land Trust, along with our partners and supporters, has invested $4.2 million to preserve 2,750 acres in this wildlife corridor. Acquisitions include 639 acres adjacent to the National Park known as Nolina Peak, 957 acres known as the Quail Mountain Project, 531 acres adjacent to Nolina Peak, and now an additional 623 acres, known as Section 33. Fundraising for the acquisition of additional parcels is currently underway through the Wildlife Linkage Campaign. This is important for many reasons:
- The Joshua Tree North Wildlife Linkage contains important wildlife habitat, critical watersheds, and dense Joshua Tree woodland.
- It helps preserve our quality of life, including clean air and dark night skies.
- This linkage is a critical corridor for the movement of animals such as desert tortoise, bobcat, golden eagle, American badger, kit fox, burrowing owl and prairie falcon.
- The area is threatened by commercial and dense residential developments, dumping and off-highway vehicle activity.
- It maintains the beautiful landscape that welcomes more than 1 million visitors to Joshua Tree each year.
- It supports existing regional open space planning efforts.
- The preservation of wildlife linkages help to protect the health and integrity of the Mojave Desert ecosystem for generations to come.
What You Can Do To Help
Here’s how you can support the short and long-term preservation of Section 33:
- Donate toward an endowment for the acquisition and long-term management of linkage lands. The endowment will generate the annual costs of managing and protecting these lands.
- Give to help build the restoration fund that will pay for the removal of small and large debris, close access roads to eliminate off-highway vehicle traffic and dumping, and restore wildlife habitat areas.
- Become a volunteer. Join our efforts to clean-up and restore acquired lands.
Our goal is to preserve the dwindling habitats that sustain not only wildlife, but also our much needed experience of nature. We hope that you will agree and support this wonderful cause in any way you are able!
“Recent intensive and detrimental activities threaten to sever natural connections, forever altering the functional integrity of this remarkable natural system…maintaining and restoring functional habitat connectivity to this regionally important landscape linkage is a wise investment that will serve to secure benefits for the future of these wildlands.”
- A Linkage Design for the Joshua Tree – Twentynine Palms Connection