Woodland - Winter 2019 - 19

IMAGE PROVIDED BY CORNELL UNIVERSITY

CHILDREN PREFER FARAWAY WILDLIFE TO LOCAL NATURE
SOURCE: NC STATE UNIVERSITY

PHM2019/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

individual adds different value to
the population at different stages
in its life cycle."
If that detail is ignored,
reestablishment efforts can
go to waste, says Bunting. For
example, 80% of red-tailed hawks
do not survive beyond their first
year of life. If wildlife managers
release only juvenile hawks into
the wild, most of those carefully
reared birds would die before
reproducing.
Besides enabling managers to
align population into stable growth
patterns, StaPOPd can save
scientists considerable effort.
"Reintroduction projects are
often exciting because people feel
like positive action is being taken,
but we also want people to take a
step back and run the numbers.
When you look at the math, does
this project actually work?" said
Bunting. "If there aren't enough
young to maintain the breeding
adults in a stable population,
you have to change what you're
releasing out into the environment."
Being able to foresee how
certain release efforts could play
out from the perspective of innate
population dynamics is critical
for wildlife conservation projects
both far and wide. The species
are as diverse as the geographic
applications. So far, it's been
used to assist Hanley in her
research on bald eagle population
dynamics and Bunting's hellbender
salamander conservation work in
upstate New York.
"The interdisciplinary teamwork
is saving managers a lot of
effort," Bunting said. "We may
not necessarily have to track the
animals in the field for 10 years
to see how that population is
doing. So we're hopeful we can
save government agencies and
scientists' time, effort and money
when doing these projects."
Lauren Cahoon Roberts
is assistant director of
communications at the College of
Veterinary Medicine.
A

If a tree is in the forest and no one has posted a picture of it online, does it
exist at all? Today's children are likely to answer no.
Children now spend a majority of time indoors engaged with virtual
experiences, and a collaborative study published in the journal PeerJ suggests
that this may impact their attitudes toward local wildlife. The study surveyed
2,759 children in grades 4 to 8 across North Carolina as part of a broader
project to engage children directly in science and nature through citizen
science. Children were asked to list four animals they liked and four they
feared, and then were asked to choose five animals they liked the most from a
list of 20.
Generally, children thought more favorably of faraway charismatic species,
such as pandas and cheetahs, than local ones. Also, local species were rated
"scary" more often than distant ones.
The study also examined whether a child's attitudes regarding nature were
influenced by where the child lived. The researchers used urbanization as a
proxy for a child's access to local wildlife, predicting that rural and exurban
children - who live near natural spaces - would be more likely to favor local
wildlife than their urban peers. However, they found that all children, regardless
of their neighborhood, were equally disconnected from local wildlife.
"We imagined that children living alongside nature would have a greater
fondness for nature. But we saw no such effect," says Rob Dunn, a professor
in NC State's Department of Applied Ecology who co-authored the study. "The
level of disconnection from nature seemed independent of where children
lived."
It's not clear what the long-term effects will be of this disconnect between
children and the natural world. However, there are plenty of tried-and-true
techniques to increase youth connections and knowledge of local wildlife -
including citizen science projects, hunting, fishing, and nature-based
educational programs.
The paper, "Children's attitudes towards animals are similar across
suburban, exurban, and rural areas," was published in PeerJ July 23. First
author of the paper is Stephanie Schuttler of the North Carolina Museum
of Natural Sciences. The paper was co-authored by Kathryn Stevenson, an
assistant professor of parks, recreation and tourism management at NC State,
and Roland Kays, a zoologist with NC State and the N.C. Museum of Natural
Sciences. The work was done with support from the National Science
Foundation, under grant number 1319293.
A

Winter 2019 * WOODLAND 19



Woodland - Winter 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Woodland - Winter 2019

OVERSTORY
FORESTS AND FAMILIES
FOREST INTERACTIONS Seedlings
2019 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year
Giving Back for the Forests of Tomorrow
Policies And Partnerships Go Hand In Hand For Strong Forests
TOOLS AND RESOURCES
Woodland - Winter 2019 - Intro
Woodland - Winter 2019 - cover1
Woodland - Winter 2019 - cover2
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 3
Woodland - Winter 2019 - OVERSTORY
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 5
Woodland - Winter 2019 - FORESTS AND FAMILIES
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 7
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 8
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 9
Woodland - Winter 2019 - FOREST INTERACTIONS Seedlings
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 11
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 12
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 13
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 14
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 15
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 16
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 17
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 18
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 19
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 2019 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 21
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 22
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 23
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 24
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 25
Woodland - Winter 2019 - Giving Back for the Forests of Tomorrow
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 27
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 28
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 29
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 30
Woodland - Winter 2019 - Policies And Partnerships Go Hand In Hand For Strong Forests
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 32
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 33
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 34
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 35
Woodland - Winter 2019 - TOOLS AND RESOURCES
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 37
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 38
Woodland - Winter 2019 - cover3
Woodland - Winter 2019 - cover4
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