The Geography of Private Forests that Support At-Risk Species in the Coterminous United States

Frontiers in Ecology & the EnvironmentRobles MD

While investigators have examined the location of biodiversity hotspots in the US, and the extent to which these areas are protected by the current network of publicly managed
lands, far less detailed information has been collected on the geographic distribution and conservation significance of private lands. Studies of at-risk and endangered species, for example, suggest that important conservation areas in the conterminous US are located in California, Florida, and the southern Appalachians. A conservative estimate is that private lands, which cover roughly 70% of the continental US, harbor more than half of these at-risk species. This finding complements other studies demonstrating that many habitats are found disproportionately on privately owned lands.

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