Preserving Virginia’s native landscapes with the help of citizen scientists and private landowners

Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Publié: 24 octobre 2019
Dernière modification: 02 octobre 2020
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Résumé

Virginia Working Landscapes (VWL) is a program of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute that promotes the conservation of native biodiversity and sustainable land use through research, education and community engagement. 

 

VWL partners with a regional network of organizations, landowners and citizen scientists in order to conduct innovative research on Virginia’s native plants and wildlife. Research is conducted on both public and private lands, with a focus on biodiversity, ecosystem services and threatened species.

 

Community engagement is key to this program. Each year, VWL trains a dedicated group of citizen scientists to conduct biodiversity surveys. The individuals play an important role both as researchers, and as conservation ambassadors in the community.

 

The data collected by citizen scientists is then used engage and educate local landowners about biodiversity and sustainable land-use.

 

Classifications

Région
Amérique du Nord
Échelle de la mise en œuvre
Local
Ecosystème
Prairie tempérée, savane, maquis
Écosystémes des prairies
Thème
Acteurs locaux
Espèces exotiques envahissantes
Fragmentation et la dégradtion de l'habitat
Gestion des espèces
Gestion des terres
Géodiversité et géoconservation
L'intégration de la biodiversité
Restauration
Science et recherche
Challenges
Dégradation des terres et des forêts
Perte de biodiversité
Utilisations conflictuelles / impacts cumulatifs
Perte de l'écosystème
Espèces envahissantes
Objectifs de Développement Durable
ODD 15 - Vie terrestre
Obectifs d'Aichi
Objectif 1: Sensibilisation accrue de la biodiversité
Objectif 2: Valeurs de la biodiversité intégrées
Objectif 5: Perte d'habitat réduite de moitié ou diminuée
Objectif 7: Agriculture, aquaculture et sylviculture durable
Objectif 9: Espèces exotiques envahissantes évitées et contrôlées
Objectif 12: Réduction du risque d'extinction
Objectif 15: Restauration et la résilience des écosystèmes

Emplacement

Front Royal, Virginia, United States of America

Les impacts positifs

Central to this innovative project is community engagement. Citizen scientists conduct surveys and private landowners provide access to their land and learn more about conservation.

 

VWL's survey network currently spans 61,000 acres of private land and 11,500 acres of public land. Over 500 surveys have been conducted and 400 species observed. These surveys provide valuable information on the status of the region's biodiversity while informing best land management practices for sustaining both wildlife and people.

 

For example, the Grassland Biodiversity project determines how different meadow management approaches affect richness and abundance of birds, plants and pollinators. The data gathered helps landowners make informed decisions about improving grassland habitat and overall biodiversity on their property.

 

The overwhelming majority of land in Virginia is held in private hands, with more than 90 percent of grasslands privately-owned. Therefore, landowners and citizens are the stewards of most of the natural resources in Virginia and key to the success of preservation efforts.

Contribué par

Smithsonian Institution