Give wildlife a chance
Georgia DNR's Nongame Conservation Section
receives no state funding to conserve nongame wildlife, native plants and natural habitats. We depend on contributions, grants and fundraisers. Meaning we depend largely on you!
How to help?
* Buy a conservation license plate
* Contribute to the Georgia Wildlife Conservation Fund tax checkoff
directly to the Nongame Conservation Section, even online
* Use GoodSearch
for your Internet searches (enter "Georgia Nongame Conservation Fund" under "Who do you GoodSearch for" and click "Verify").
* Join TERN
, the Nongame Conservation Section's friends group.
“Not a creature
was stirring, not even a mouse" – you hope. ... That holiday saying may make you wonder if mice, rats or squirrels are living in your house. Rodents seek out shelter from the cold in the winter, so that noise from above may not be from reindeer landing on your roof. Although this season is one of giving, most people don’t like the idea of an animal chewing on electrical wires and leaving fecal “presents” in the attic. Sealing off points of entry, especially at the corners of your roof and along the eaves, is the key to preventing these unwelcome guests.
For a warm way
to learn about Georgia's amazing diversity of fishes
, visit the Go Fish Education Center
. The newly opened center in Perry features more than 80 species of native fishes, 170,000 gallons in pools and wall tanks, a two-story waterfall, theater, alligators and other aquatic wildlife, and displays exploring watersheds and pollution impacts. The center, just off Interstate 75 on the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter grounds, is open to the public Friday through Sunday and to school groups Tuesday through Thursday.
Hamiota subangulata Lea
Previously used scientific name
: Lampsilis subangulata
: Medium-sized freshwater mussel with a glossy outer shell surface colored yellow to dark brown, often with prominent dark to emerald rays. Reaches maximum length of 3.3 inches. Elliptical in shape. Nacre, or inner shell surface, is white or salmon-colored.
: Florida sandshell (Lampsilis floridensis
) and southern rainbow (Villosa vibex
: Typically occupies medium-sized streams to large rivers in sandy to muddy substrates with slight to moderate current.
: Diets of unionids are poorly understood but are believed to consist of algae and bacteria. Some studies suggest diets may change throughout life of a unionid, with juveniles collecting organic materials from substrate though pedal feeding and developing the ability to filter-feed as adults.
: Females are known to brood glochidia
over winter and release superconglutinates late spring and through summer. The superconglutinate is comprised of a long gelatinous string with several glochidial packages. The superconglutinate floats in water currents, resembling a small fish. (See these amazing conglutinate "lure" videos
!) Females also exhibit a display in which they flutter their mantle while positioned with their posterior margin exposed. This display may be used alone or with the superconglutinate, possibly to attract host fishes during periods of extreme drought. Predatory fishes serve as hosts for the glochidial. Glochidia of shinyrayed pocketbooks have successfully transformed on largemouth and spotted bass.
: Species is endemic to eastern Gulf slope of Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Historically known from the Apalachicola and the Ochlockonee river basins. In Georgia, shinyrayed pocketbooks occurred in the Chattahoochee River basin as far north as Atlanta and to the headwaters of the Flint and Ochlockonee rivers. The Chattahoochee population now appears restricted to Sawhatchee and Kirkland creeks, while the species appears to occur widely throughout the Flint and its tributaries. There also have been several collections from the Ochlockonee.
: Habitat fragmentation may isolate populations and prevent fish movement, limiting distribution of host fishes carrying glochidia. Construction of impoundments may further fragment populations and inundate suitable habitat. Excessive water withdrawals in lower Flint basin coupled with severe drought could cause species to become extirpated from Georgia. Excess sedimentation due to inadequate riparian buffer zones also covers suitable habitat and can suffocate individuals.
: Federally and state-listed as endangered. Global conservation status ranking is G2 (imperiled; at high risk of extinction).
Sources: Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division protected species accounts, Georgia Museum of Natural History
New DNR Commissioner Mark Williams
said Georgia “is blessed with an amazing diversity of natural and cultural
resources” and he looks forward to ensuring “these resources are conserved for current and future generations.” The state representative and businessman from Jesup has served on the state’s Natural Resources and Environment
and the Game, Fish and Parks committees
, earning praise
from some conservationists in south Georgia.
Make a year-end gift to Georgia wildlife
and get a break on your 2010 taxes. Contributing to the Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund supports work to conserve nongame, rare plants and natural habitats across the state. Click to give online
DNR has scheduled eight public meetings
in January to discuss a recent report by the Land Management Steering Committee. The document summarizes work and recommendations by the group charged with assessing marketing implications of the various names for DNR lands and the potential to recover costs associated with providing recreational services on Wildlife Resources Division properties.
With calving season
in full swing, the north Atlantic right whale
count of the coast of Georgia and northern Florida is up to 19. The total includes four calves (the first spotted this season is pictured
The pending purchase
of Oaky Woods
covers the largest, most ecologically important yet unprotected tract in middle Georgia. The approximately 10,000 acres includes rare chalk or “blackland” prairies and related plants, the core habitat for the region’s bear population, and a section of the Ocmulgee River important to the state-endangered robust redhorse and rare mussels.
Help watch this winter
for white-nose syndrome
, a killer of bats sweeping south and west from the northeast. DNR has posted monitoring and surveillance suggestions
for cavers and others.
Eastern indigo snakes
released last summer in a reintroduction project
at Alabama’s Conecuh National Forest
are learning the landscape. One of the 17 juveniles produced by gravid indigos from Georgia moved nearly four miles away; several took up residence in a church camp, where staff welcomed them. In next month’s Georgia Wild: Cold-weather indigos.
Barn-owl box builders wanted
. Charlie Muise, state Georgia Important Bird Area Program
coordinator, is heading a project in which you make the box – designs are online – and he reimburses the wood costs (no pressure-treated lumber, please). E-mail Muise
for details. Also: Georgia IBA on Facebook
Five young whooping cranes
finished their ultralight-led migration
from Wisconsin to Florida this month, overnighting in southwestern Georgia before continuing to St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. The other five whoopers making the trek will fly from St. Marks to Chassahowitzka NWR, all part of the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership
project reintroducing the imperiled cranes to eastern North America.
Read Bob Kornegay’s "fly-over" column in The Albany Herald.
Of the 105 whooping cranes
in the wild in the East, some are spotted migrating on their own through Georgia. Four were reported in late November in Lowndes County, near Valdosta. Report sightings
. Crane updates by blog
Your top turtle photo
could earn a spot in the online 2011 Year of the Turtle
calendar. Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation
will include monthly winners and runner-ups as part of a yearlong campaign for conserving turtles, more than 40 percent of which face the threat of extinction.
Georgia K-12 educators
can apply for $1,000 grants
from the Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia
for environmental education/performing and visual arts projects. The grants honor late environmental educator Petey Giroux, described as a master at using performing and visual arts to support her teaching.
For bird lovers
who aren’t school teachers, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
is accepting applications for “mini-grants” to fund neighborhood events that promote an appreciaton for birds and nature. The Celebrate Urban Birds grants
is being promoted to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director
from deputy director. Upon confirmation, the 15-year agency veteran will succeed Sam Hamilton, who died in February 2009.
exotic African spurred tortoise found living in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert
is an eye-opener in more ways than its size. The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s turtles project coordinator called the discovery a reminder of the threat of exotic species, which – in this case – could spread diseases and out-compete natives such as the Sonoran desert tortoise
Nongame in the news
Naple (Fla.) News
: "FWC works to protect livestock from panthers
," agency stresses vigilance in wake of panther depredations. (Dec. 21)
: "Scientists: Reservoirs not solution
," UGA research team says more impoundments won't meet water needs. (Dec. 20)
: "Saving ‘Georgia’s Amazon’
," roles of Robert Woodruff Foundation and The Nature Conservancy of Georgia in protecting 14,000-plus acres along Altamaha. (Dec. 17)
The (Anderson) Independent Mail
: "Trustees of multimillion-dollar PCBs settlement name Hartwell projects
," $6.9 million will go to projects ranging from shoreline restoration to an event center. (Dec. 16)
The (Swainsboro) Forest Blade
: "Youth returns to Ohoopee Dunes
," group learns conservation helping outplant rare plants at natural area. (Dec. 15)
: "State OKs $28.7 million for Oaky Woods
," State Properties Commission vote follows DNR Board approval for purchasing approximately 10,000 acres. (Dec. 13)
Georgia Public Broadcasting
: "DNR looking for frog enthusiasts
," skilled volunteers sought for annual statewide survey. (Dec. 7)
Savannah Morning News
: "First right whale calf of the season sighted off Sapelo Island
," adult whale No. 1604 produces first calf of 2010-2011, fourth recorded for her. (Dec. 7)
The Florida Times-Union
: "Jekyll Island conservation plan calls for fixing badly damaged beach
," panel and public discuss draft plan. (Dec. 6)
The Locust Fork News-Journal
: "Endangered whooping cranes fly into Georgia
," U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service releases charts birds' touch-down in Clay County. (Dec. 9)
The Savannah Morning News
: "Sapelo's South End House celebrates 200 years
," marking two centuries at R.J. Reynolds Mansion. (Dec. 2)
The Florida Times-Union
: "Sturgeon spawn area considered in the St. Marys
," outlook for river as feds consider endangered status and critical habitat for Atlantic sturgeon. (Nov. 26)
: "Teams across Ga. prepare for prescribed burns
," DNR and partners train for Rx fire season. (Nov. 22)
: "Tree-killing beetle found in Alabama
," redbay ambrosia beetle documented for first time in state. (Nov. 17)
: Eight public meetings set by Ga. DNR across state for input on “Report of the Land Management Steering Committee." Report; meeting locations and dates
: Public meetings
for development of 2011-12, 2012-13 Georgia hunting seasons. Locations, dates.
: Weekend for Wildlife
(Georgia Wildlife Conservation Fund fundraiser), Sea Island.
: Georgia River Network Weekend for Rivers
Photo credits (from top)
* In masthead: Loggerhead shrike. Charlie Muise/Georgia IBA Program
* DNR Nongame Conservation Section botanist Jacob Thompson at work on coastal habitat mapping. Ga. DNR
* Dry hickory maritime forest. Ga. DNR
* Shinyrayed pocketbook in southwestern Georgia's Spring Creek. Jason Wisniewski/Ga. DNR
* Dogwood berries. Terry W. Johnson
First north Atlantic right whale calf of 2010-2011 calving season. Photo by EcoHealth Alliance, NOAA permit #594-1759
* Nongame Conservation Section senior wildlife biologist Nathan Klaus (kneeling) helps bag native grass seed collected at Panola Mountain State Park this fall. Ga. DNR
* Swamp sparrow. Charlie Muise/Georgia IBA Program
* Northern harrier. Jim Fairley
* Nongame Conservation Section intern Carrie Radcliffe shows a teen how to outplant rare plants at Ohoopee Dunes Natural Area. Ga. DNR
Real Estate Development Company donates $2,500 to The Environmental Resource Network for the 2011 Youth Birding Competition. Ga. DNR
volume 3, issue 12
A free monthly e-newsletter produced by DNR and focused on nongame. Subscribe or see previous issues
Wildlife not legally trapped, fished for or hunted, plus native plants and natural habitats.
The Wildlife Resources Division's Nongame Conservation Section
. Our mission: Conserve and protects Georgia's diversity of native animals and plants and their habitats through research, management and education. It's worth repeating that we depend on grants, donations
and fundraisers such as nongame license plate sales
, the Georgia Wildlife Conservation Fund state income tax checkoff
and Weekend for Wildlife
Buy a tag:
Nongame license plates – the eagle and hummingbird – are available at county tag offices
, by checking the wildlife license plate box on mail-in registration forms and through online renewal
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