» Habitat conservation

Housing growth in and near United States protected areas limits their conservation value

Protected areas are crucial for biodiversity conservation because they provide safe havens for species threatened by land-use change and resulting habitat loss. However, protected areas are only effective when they stop habitat loss within their boundaries, and are connected via corridors to other wild areas. The effectiveness of protected areas is threatened by development; however, the extent of this threat is unknown. We compiled spatially-detailed housing growth data from 1940 to 2030, and quantified growth for each wilderness area, national park, and national forest in the conterminous United States. Our findings show that housing development in the United States may severely limit the ability of protected areas to function as a modern “Noah’s Ark.” Between 1940 and 2000, 28 million housing units were built within 50 km of protected areas, and 940,000 were built within national forests. Housing growth rates during the 1990s within 1 km of protected areas (20% per decade) outpaced the national average (13%). If long-term trends continue, another 17 million housing units will be built within 50 km of protected areas by 2030 (1 million within 1 km), greatly diminishing their conservation value. US protected areas are increasingly isolated, housing development in their surroundings is decreasing their effective size, and national forests are even threatened by habitat loss within their administrative boundaries. Protected areas in the United States are thus threatened similarly to those in developing countries. However, housing growth poses the main threat to protected areas in the United States whereas deforestation is the main threat in developing countries. Read More

The Guide: A Biologist in Gorongosa

Growing up near Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, Tonga Torcida has dreamed of becoming a tour guide at the park. But when he meets and gets to work with ant biologist E.O. Wilson in the park, his views of the world around him—and of his future—drastically change. Torcida decides to pursue a career in science and work to ensure that the park is enjoyed by future generations. Produced by Academy Award winning filmmaker Jessica Yu, the film weaves themes in conservation biology and environmental science, the value of scientific mentorship, and the social and economic realities of wilderness restoration. The film and accompanying resources serve as a case study in ecology and conservation biology. Read More

Threats to At-Risk Species in America's Private Forests: A Forests on the Edge Report

America’s private forests harbor thousands of species – from butterflies, bears, birds and bats; to salmon, snails and salamanders that inhabit streams and wetlands; to flowers, trees and shrubs that feed and protect wildlife and enrich human lives. Many native animals and plants found in private forests nationwide are at risk of decline or extinction, in part because of impacts of increasing housing development. The effects of development on at-risk species on private forests are intensified by additional impacts from fire, insects and disease. Read More

Conservation Biology for All

Oxford University Press makes conservation biology textbook by some of the world’s most prominent ecologists and conservation biologists available as a free download. Conservation Biology for All provides cutting-edge but basic conservation science to a global readership. A series of authoritative chapters have been written by the top names in conservation biology with the principal aim of disseminating cutting-edge conservation knowledge as widely as possible. Important topics such as balancing conversion and human needs, climate change, conservation planning, designing and analyzing conservation research, ecosystem services, endangered species management, extinctions, fire, habitat loss, and invasive species are covered. Numerous text boxes describing additional relevant material or case studies are also included. Read More

ARKive

Eleven interactive educational games and puzzles on habitats, animal survival, and animal stages around the world. Read More

Buffer Strips: Commonsense Conservation

Description of vegetation buffers used to conserve soil and manage environmental concerns. Read More

Books on Global Warming

A list of recommended books on global warming and climate change for science, business, and children. Read More

Flying WILD: En Educator’s Guide to Celebrating Birds

Flying WILD, a program of the Council for Environmental Education, introduces students to bird conservation through standards-based classroom activities and environmental stewardship projects. Flying WILD encourages schools to work closely with conservation organizations, community groups, and businesses involved with birds to implement school bird festivals and bird conservation projects. Read More

Game Management on the Farm

Describes ways that a farmer can support game on his land to make the best use of otherwise wasted land. Provides an overview of practical game management practices. Read More

From the Edge: Science to Support Restoration of Pacific Salmon

Library Holdings. According the preface, this report represents the scientific understanding of salmon and salmon declines in the year 2000. The report provides an overview of salmon population trends, and ways to aid in and measure recovery. Read More

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