Firing ranges can have more wildlife than national parks, or adjacent farm land, according to a study of land used for US military training.
The land is uncultivated, but also churned up by tank tracks and explosions. This creates habitat both for species that prefer pristine lands and those that require disturbed ground, explains ecologist Steven Warren of Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
Military land can host more species than agricultural land, Warren told a meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Montreal. What’s more, its biodiversity can also exceed that of natural parks, where species that need disturbance cannot get a foothold.