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Check out what’s happened this week in forestry news!

The popularity of exotic reptiles and amphibians as pets has created an enormous illegal trade. Most of the reptiles sold as pets are said to have been bred in captivity – however, depending on the species, many of those reptiles were likely illegally captured in the wild.

A recent international study reveals that animals such as tigers, lions and polar bears are at a high risk of extinction because the public believes their popularity guarantees their survival. Since these popular animals are frequently used in marketing campaigns, the public creates the misconception that these animals aren’t endangered.

Researchers at NC State University used immersive virtual reality (IVR) to test perceptions of green enclosures set in a downtown plaza and a city park, manipulating the vegetation to create different environments. This technology will allow landscape designers to experiment with designing urban landscapes and people’s perception of them without having to plant trees.

Tree experts used tree ring measurements from forests along the northern coast of Norway to show how the Germans were able to avoid the destruction of their largest battleship, the Tirpitz, for years during World War II.

The trail maintenance scheduled for 15 priority areas in the Southern Appalachian region is expected to address the needed infrastructure work, so that trails managed by the USDA Forest Service can be enjoyed by the general public and trail enthusiasts.

A new wildlife corridor is being planned to allow species to move out of the now-isolated Reserva Biológica União in Brazil. This will give the endangered and threatened species, such as the golden lion tamarin, the opportunity to repopulate and become genetically diverse in a larger environment. The land bridge will lead to a region north of the reserve, which is in the process of being reforested with native flora.