Where the fragmentation of a habitat of importance is having a negative impact on biodiversity, the restoration of connectivity between different patches of the habitat may help to limit the problems. In general, the smaller and more isolated the patches of habitat, the greater will be the need for corridors to enable local species populations to disperse and migrate between different core areas. The ecological value of a corridor will also depend on its design and on the characteristics of each individual species (such as its need for mobility and its ability to move through a particular landscape).
Conservation buffers are strips of land that are maintained in permanent vegetation and designed to enhance wildlife habitat, improve water quality, and enrich the aesthetics on farmlands.
Conservation of a large number of plant and animal species depends on whether they have sufficient opportunities to move around and to migrate, in transfrontier areas, which are proper ecological corridors, as well as in "interterritorial areas", which serve as "stepping stones."
Broad guidelines on the potential role of corridors and their configuration include: a) the greater the width, richness and continuity of a corridor, the greater the number of species that it will serve and the easier that movement along the corridor will be; b) although the requirements for corridors are species-specific, single corridors can serve a group of species with similar requirements; c) well-connected habitat fragments assist some animals in finding sufficient habitat where a single habitat fragment is insufficient; d) corridors are essential for animals that have to migrate between different isolated areas in order to meet their seasonal requirements; and e) corridors can help only those species that have a significant barrier to cross and which are able to use the habitat of the corridor.
Under the provisions of the [EU Habitats Directive], European Member States shall endeavour in their land-use planning and development policies to encourage the management of features of the landscape which are of major importance for wild fauna and flora. Such features are those which, by virtue of their linear and continuous structure (such as rivers with their banks or the traditional systems for marking field boundaries) or their function as stepping stones (such as ponds or small woods), are essential for the migration, dispersal and genetic exchange of wild species.