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Working lands important for biodiversity

Cara J

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While wildlife refuges and other natural areas are important for conservation, recent research shows biodiversity on working lands — places where people raise food, forests, products or livestock — are important for wildlife and plants as well. “It’s really important that we think about sustainability in working landscapes,” said Claire Kremen, a professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management at the University of California, Berkeley and lead author of the recent paper published in Science. “I think it’s really important we don’t restrict our efforts of conserving wildlife just to protected areas or just working landscapes — they complement each other.” In the review article, Kremen and her colleagues looked at a vision of earth in the future and what would be needed to conserve biodiversity. After reviewing the literature, they determined that working landscapes must be used and managed in a way that’s friendly to wildlife. “We feel this will be the way to conserve biodiversity,” she said. Kremen said working lands are especially important for certain species. While some might need virtually pristine managed ecosystems, many species can coexist with human activity, she said. Supporting these animals in working landscapes can give them more area [...]

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