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Nuclear Weapons and Conservation: Connecting the Dots

Ecologist Nick Haddad discusses his massive experiment in creating habitat corridors on lands protected because they surround guarded nuclear sites.

Hydrogen bombs and environmental conservation are two things that do not go together. Except at a nuclear site in South Carolina, where ecologist Nick Haddad has constructed one of the biggest ecological experiments in the world.

Taking advantage of a large forest that has grown up around the Savannah River nuclear facilities, he has carved massive islands of grassland into the forest, through clear cutting, and connected some of the islands together, through yet more clear cutting.

Why do this? One of the major priorities in conservation today is to connect together protected areas and untold millions of dollars have been spent in assembling these natural corridors. Despite these efforts, it has been very unclear if these habitat connections are actually useful for conservation.

Dr. Haddad, a professor at North Carolina State University, discusses what he has learned from his one-of-a-kind connection experiment about the value of habitat corridors for conservation.

Music on this edition of Curiouser & Curiouser is credit "The Annual New England Xylophone Symposium" by DoKashiteru.

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