WILDLIFE corridors stretching across state borders could be given funding priority under a plan to help fauna adapt to climate change.The corridors will help connect the dots between protected areas, including national parks, according to federal Environment Minister Tony Burke.
Mr Burke today unveiled the National Wildlife Corridors Plan, which outlines processes for communities to nominate areas to become part of a national network of wildlife pathways.
"An area that meets the criteria and is declared as a National Wildlife Corridor may be eligible for priority funding under a range of Australian government funding programs," Mr Burke said in a statement.
"This is about setting priorities for conservation funding. The plan does not, of itself, lock up any land."
Greens leader Christine Milne welcomed the initiative as crucial to saving Australian native animals.
"As the world warms, species are going to have to move or else they are going to go extinct, and already some of our alpine species are faced with extinction because they can't go any higher," Senator Milne said.
"We need to make sure we've got wildlife corridors right from the coast to the mountains, the north to the south, so species can move over time."
She challenged Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to commit to funding wildlife corridors under a coalition government, adding that the price on carbon was a logical funding option.
"It's actually the polluters paying for the consequences of their action," she said.
"They're the ones driving global warming, so now, part of the money raised from carbon pricing is to go to set up a capacity for adaptation for wildlife."
The Federal Government said its plan would help guide future government investment through initiatives such as Caring for our Country and the Biodiversity Fund.