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Studying Biodiversity on Private Lands

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Abstract:

More than half of the land in the United States is privately owned. Private lands harbor a great amount of biodiversity, including at least some habitat for 95% of the federally listed species in the United States. It is important to conduct conservation biology research on private lands, but our review of the literature indicates that few conservation-oriented field studies are conducted on private property. Based on our success in obtaining permission to conduct research on 43 land parcels in Sonoma County, California, we developed methods to enhance a conservation biologist's chance of obtaining permission to work on private lands. We provide guidelines for researchers to conduct studies successfully on private land with the goal of improving access, data collection, and relationships with private landowners. We also discuss constraints researchers face, such as designing studies appropriate for working on privately owned parcels. In light of the importance of these lands to biodiversity conservation, greater effort should be made to conduct research on private lands.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, Hilgard #3110, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720–3110, U.S.A.

Publication date: 01 February 2003

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