Personal outreach to landowners is vital to conservation program success

From VT News

April 5, 2018  |   Virginia Tech College of Natural Resources and Environment research published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE shows that private landowners trust conservation agencies more and have better views of program outcomes when they accompany conservation biologists who are monitoring habitat management on their land.

Engaging private landowners in conservation and sustaining that interest is critically important, particularly in the eastern United States, where more than 80 percent of land is privately owned. Outreach from ...

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Human-centered design is key to forming partnerships for large-scale conservation success

From VT News

March 22, 2018  |  To recruit more fishers to help with marine conservation, cast a wider net.

This is the conclusion of a new study by Virginia Tech researchers who examined participation in a payment for ecosystem services program.  The study modeled preferences of fishers in Chile in creating and monitoring marine protected areas inside their fishing management zones.

Lead author Michael Sorice, an associate professor of conservation social science ...

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Dude…Where’d this weed come from?

Globalization and other human activities such as domestication can influence population structure of the earth’s flora and fauna, having broad implications for biodiversity.  For example, Cannabis sativa (a.k.a. hemp/marijuana) has been used by humans for diverse purposes including medicine, spirituality, entertainment, and as a source of fiber for thousands of years.  Because of its broad utility, this plant has been subject to extensive cultivation, artificial selection, and global trade.  As a result, the origins and historical patterns of genetic diversity of marijuana ...

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Even small amounts of oil made birds sick near Deepwater Horizon spill

From VT News

Photos from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on April 20, 2010, show heartbreaking images of deceased or soon-to-be-deceased sea life—birds, fish, sea turtles, and mammals coated in thick, black grime.

However, even small amounts of oil exposure affected the health of birds in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a Virginia Tech research team. Their findings were published Oct. 12 in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

The team examined samples ...

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Sterling Nesbit finds early dinosaur cousin had a surprising croc-like look

From VT News

For decades, scientists have wondered what the earliest dinosaur relatives looked like. Most assumed that they would look like miniature dinosaurs, be about the size of a chicken, and walk on two legs.

A Virginia Tech paleobiologist’s latest discovery of Teleocrater rhadinus, however, has overturned popular predictions. This carnivorous creature, unearthed in southern Tanzania, was approximately seven to 10 feet long, with a long neck and tail, and instead of walking on two legs, it walked on four ...

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