An optimisation approach for designing wildlife corridors with ecological and spatial considerations

Yicheng Wang, Peng Qin, Hayri Önal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The fragmentation of wildlife habitats caused by anthropogenic activities has reduced biodiversity and impaired key ecosystem functions. Wildlife corridors play an important role in linking detached habitats. The optimal design of such corridors considering spatial, ecological and economic factors is addressed in this paper. We present a novel graph-theoretic optimisation approach and a mixed-integer linear programming model to determine an optimal wildlife corridor connecting two given habitat patches. The model maximises the total quality of the corridor and satisfies pre-specified corridor width and length requirements under a resource constraint. Compared to the corridor design models presented in the literature, our model is conceptually simpler, and it is computationally convenient. We applied the model to a real dataset for Eldorado National Forest in California, USA, involving 1,363 irregular land parcels. The model can be extended to design multiple corridors that connect two or more existing habitat patches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1042-1051
Number of pages10
JournalMethods in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • biological conservation
  • connectivity
  • conservation planning
  • mixed-integer linear programming
  • spatial optimisation
  • wildlife corridor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecological Modeling


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