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Biodiversity in the Southeast

Location:

Alabama and Florida

In the most biodiverse region east of the Mississippi River, researchers are gaining a more comprehensive picture of biodiversity found within private working forests by investigating the entire ecosystem and the species that depend on it.

Because species depend on various forest types within private working forests, the landscape-level approach of this study is critical to demonstrating the value of active forest management as a powerful conservation tool. Determining the region’s species composition and abundance will enhance conservation efforts.

Multifaceted Methodologies

Gaining a wholistic understanding of biodiversity across a landscape requires several research methodologies. In this project, four methodologies are being used:

METHOD 1: FRESHWATER TURTLE VISUAL SURVEYS AND TRAPPING

Researchers survey freshwater turtles using several different methods, depending on the species. This includes baited nets, unbaited nets, and counting them as they bask.

METHOD 2: CAMERA TRAPPING ARRAYS AND VISUAL TERRESTRIAL SURVEYS

Game cameras in 60 sites capture species that tend to escape bucket and box traps. The cameras provide a broad picture of biodiversity. To date, cameras have captured 43 specie

METHOD 3: ENVIRONMENTAL DNA AND METABARCODING

Researchers are increasing efficiency by leveraging technology. To date, 62 species across 72 sites have been detected, including the Carolina gopher frog and freshwater mussels.

METHOD 4: AREA CONSTRAINED UPLAND PINE SURVEYS

So far, researchers have used this method to find evidence of gopher tortoises across 107 sites, as well as other species such as eastern diamond-backed rattlesnakes and the black pinesnake.

Conservation Success Starts with Keeping Forests Intact

We all have a hand in ensuring conservation of wildlife. When we purchase wood and forest products, we support the sustainable cycle of growing, harvesting and replanting that keeps our forests as forests. Thousands of species call working forests home, and many species thrive in actively managed working forests.