Connecting the Gems

2011 Video 26 Min 50 Sec

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An 520 mile expedition to understand wildlife connectivity and the relationships between people and nature. Two of the most in-tact and important ecosystems in the world’s temperate zone are the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in central Idaho. Today, these two areas are essentially ecological islands of protected habitats. When populations of animals exist in isolation, they are left without the ability to maintain genetic diversity. It is, therefore, essential that we maintain clear migration and dispersal routes between protected ecosystems. By connecting the gems that are these ecosystems, we can better ensure healthy populations of grizzly bears, wolverines, moose, mountain lion, and so many other species. By traveling through the region on foot, following the most likely routes that wolverines and grizzly bears would take through the area, it was our goal to gain a unique understanding of the conditions and threats to essential habitats, providing key information to agencies working to promote and protect these areas.

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Christine Boulware
This is an amazing short film...and Deia and her partner offer a great experience through the lens of the camera....
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James Mills
Few people likely realize that habitat preservation requires more than protecting the areas where different animal species live. Equally important are the paths they take to get there. Habitat corridors are the routes that individual members of a given population -grizzly bears, wolverines, moose, etc-take to move from one place to another. And as they travel they spread their genes as part of a strong and diverse ecosystem. The film Connecting the Gems follows filmmakers Deia Schlosberg and Gregg Treinish as they walk along the 500-mile trail of animals in and around Yellowstone National Park. Their journey through this short documentary aims to help raise awareness for the delicate balance between human expansion and the undisturbed pathways that allow a variety of different species to survive as well as thrive. A good introduction to concept of animal migration this intimate little film offers a ground-angle view from the perspective of those who walk the land in search of new habitats to call home.