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Conserving Nongame Wildlife: 2010

Education & Outreach

Regional Education Centers

The Wildlife Resources Division is charged with promoting the conservation and wise use of Georgia’s natural resources. The division’s educational mission involves cultivating an appreciation and Pete Griffin of Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center with bald eagleunderstanding of wildlife resources, fostering wise stewardship of these resources, and promoting safe and ethical natural resource-based recreation. Through its history, Wildlife Resources has educated the state’s youth and families to increase awareness, engagement and stewardship regarding Georgia’s habitats, wildlife and natural resources. As growth and development increasingly require stewardship and conservation, the need for wildlife education is paramount.

Wildlife Resources operates six regional education centers in partnership with local school systems, Regional Educational Service Agencies (RESAs), and other state and federal agencies to deliver wildlife-based education to students, adults and families. The centers include Charlie Elliott in Mansfield, Smithgall Woods in Helen, McDuffie in Dearing, Arrowhead in Rome, Grand Bay in Valdosta and Sapelo Island. About 48,000 students visited the centers in 2010, learning about conservation and wise use of natural and cultural resources through hands-on experiences. In addition, the Go Fish Education Center in Perry was prepped for a grand opening in October 2010.

Also during 2010, the Nongame Conservation Section provided more than $127,000 for staff salaries and programming at Smithgall Woods, McDuffie, Arrowhead and Grand Bay. Local cooperators also provided financial assistance to these centers.

Youth Birding Competition

YBC logoIn its fifth year, the annual Youth Birding Competition drew another enthusiastic crowd. The 24-hour birding event features teams of pre-k through 12-grade birders representing schools, Scout troops, science clubs and other groups compete with teams their age to identify as many bird species as they can in Georgia.

The 2010 competition attracted more than 130 participants ages 6 to 18. These young birders cataloged 184 species and raised about $2,300 for conservation projects throughout the state. The top team overall counted 148 bird species! The maximum number in Georgia at this time of year is about 200.

In addition, 90 young artists contributed paintings or drawings to the T-shirt art contest.

Find more on the contest here.

Kids and wing span banner at YBC

Social Media

The popularity of the Wildlife Resources Division’s social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube – continued to increase during 2010, spreading awareness of conservation and the division’s work. As one example, the division’s Facebook page registered more than 72,700 views during fiscal 2010 and averaged 1,910 user interactions a month.

Another outreach, the nongame e-newsletter, Georgia Wild, added 500 subscribers during the year. The online ventures and the e-newsletter broadened the reach of the Nongame Conservation Section’s communications efforts, while also enhancing interactivity and customer service.

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