Conserving Nongame Wildlife: 2013

A Year of Wildlife Conservation

Georgia is rich in wildlife. Yet more than 1,000 native plant and animal species in our state are species of conservation concern. Of those, 318 are protected by federal or state law.

Our mission at the Department of Natural Resources’ Nongame Conservation Section is to conserve these and Georgia’s other native nongame wildlife, or species not legally fished for or hunted.

We do this through research, surveys, conservation programs, education, land acquisition and habitat management.

The work is critical and wide-ranging. It varies from studying ways to protect American oystercatcher nests on the coast to restoring sandhills habitat with prescribed fire just southwest of Macon and monitoring north Georgia caves where biologists found a disease fatal to bats in early 2013.

Our guide is the State Wildlife Action Plan. This comprehensive strategy is focused on keeping native Georgia wildlife from declining to the point of needing federal protection as threatened or endangered species.

We developed the State Wildlife Action Plan in 2005. Now we’re working to update it. This effort includes other agencies, conservation groups, businesses and private landowners. All have a stake.

Our challenge at the Nongame Conservation Section is that we don’t receive state appropriations for nongame work. Instead, we depend on direct donations, fundraising initiatives and grants.

That support has taken a significant hit because of funding formula changes associated with the eagle and hummingbird license plates, our No. 1 fundraiser.

You’ll learn more in this report.

Please view or download a copy – there’s also a six-page summary – and let me know what you think at mike.harris@dnr.state.ga.us.

Thank you for your interest in Georgia's nongame wildlife.

Mike Harris

Chief, Nongame Conservation Section

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