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APRIL 2011

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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.
* Donate directly to the Nongame Conservation Section.
* 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.

WILD Facts
Since many adult salamanders and lizards are about the same shape and size, you may have trouble telling one from the other. Here are a few tips: Salamanders are amphibians with moist smooth skin, while lizards are reptiles with dry scaly skin. You’ll never see claws or more than four toes on the front feet of salamanders, but lizards have five toes with claws. Salamanders usually stay in or near water since they must return there to breed and lay gelatinous eggs. Lizards breed and deposit leathery eggs on land. Parents of both groups typically do not take care of their young. In education
Georgian Bryn Pipes visited Moody Forest Natural Area for the first time during the recent 10-year anniversary celebration of The Nature Conservancy’s acquisition of the property. The trip was an education and an encouragement for Pipes, whose family is restoring longleaf pine forest on Taylor County land they placed under a conservation easement. Writes Pipes, “Seeing a forest like the one at Moody not only strengthens my commitment to doing all I can to restore my land to longleaf habitat, but it gives me a glimpse of what my own land could be if that commitment is strong enough.” Read about his inspiring introduction to Moody.  
  • For more on Moody, see biologist Shan Cammack's profile of the natural area in the March 2011 issue.

D.C. talk
The $39 billion in federal cuts approved in a bicameral-crafted budget for the remainder of this fiscal year will impact the following wildlife programs like so:
  • State and Tribal Wildlife Grants, budgeted $61.9 million, or 31 percent ($28 million) less than fiscal year 2010 and the least since fiscal 2001, according to the Teaming with Wildlife Coalition.
  • North American Wetlands Conservation Act, $37.5 million, a 21 percent cut from fiscal 2010 funding.
  • Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, $60 million, a 29 percent cut.
  • Neotropical bird conservation, $4 million, a 20 percent cut.
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Land Acquisition, $55 million, a 36 percent cut.
  • Fish and Wildlife Service Resource Management, $1.24 billion, a 2 percent cut.
Teaming with Wildlife notes the outcome could have been worse. An original House Resolution included no money for State Wildlife Grants, a critical funding source for nongame conservation in Georgia and other states, and the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. Conservation supporters called on Congress to restore funding. Debate now turns to the 2012 budget, where much deeper cuts are proposed.

golden-winged warbler
Up close
Golden-winged warbler
Vermivora chrysoptera
Family: Parulidae, or wood warblers. Other common names: Golden-winged flycatcher, golden-winged swamp warbler and blue golden-winged warbler
Key characteristics: Golden-winged warblers are small warblers about 5 inches long. Each has a medium gray back, chest and belly, and a white vent. Males have a thick wedge-shaped black stripe that broadens as it runs from the bill to the back of the head. Males also have a black chin and throat. The black is replaced by gray on females. Both sexes have a yellow forecrown and fairly large yellow wing panel on the upper wing near the shoulder. This yellow coloration is generally brighter on the male.
Range: Winter range extends from central Guatemala to the northwestern tip of South America. Breeding range runs from north Georgia to the Appalachian Mountains, into western New England and southern Ontario, and west to northern Minnesota.
In Georgia: Golden-winged warblers were found in at least five counties in the 1950s. The only known population now is on Brawley Mountain on the Chattahoochee National Forest in Fannin County.
Habitat: Historically abundant in frequently burned, open oak-woodlands at middle and higher elevations of the Southern Appalachians, including Georgia. Now inhabits early successional habitat, preferring dense stands of small trees interspersed with relatively open patches of grass and weeds. May also occupy regenerating clearcuts, roadsides, abandoned pastures, open brushy areas created by beavers and some mountain bogs. Winters in tropical forest canopies.  
Eats: Uses its sharp, pointed bill to probe for winged insects, caterpillars and spiders in the upper half of small trees and shrubs. Occasionally eats nectar in winter. Often hangs upside down to investigate the undersides of leaves for food.
Sounding off: Song is a high-pitched buzzy trill. (Listen and watch.)
Breeding behavior: In late April, nests on or near the ground in weed stalks and tufts of grass. In about three days, female builds a bulky foundation of grasses, tendrils, shredded bark and dead leaves, lining the cup with hair and fine grasses. Female incubates four to six eggs for 10-12 days. Both parents feed young, which typically fledge by the third week in May. Feeding of young continues for about a month after fledging.
Status: This species is uncommon to rare, declining at least since the 1960s but with even more significant declines recently. Listed as threatened in Canada and as near-threatened by BirdLife International. Federally listed as a species of special concern. State-listed as endangered in Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Ohio. Substantial habitat loss mostly in the U.S. (mostly due to fire suppression) probably is the main cause of decline. Little is known about the remote tropical areas inhabited by golden-winged warblers in winter.
Threats: Original open oak-woodland habitats have been lost from the Appalachians from logging and fire suppression, though restoration efforts are underway. This robust warbler found refuge in abandoned field habitats. As abandoned farms grew back to forests, however, the species’ required habitat disappeared. Other habitat loss can be attributed to more efficient farming practices, urbanization, decades of fire suppression and, in Georgia, timber harvest reductions on Chattahoochee National Forest, where nearly all suitable habitat is now found. Nest site competition with blue-winged warblers (also a declining species) affects reproductive success where the two species overlap.
Conservation: More data is needed to better understand distribution and population shifts, an effort led by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Golden-winged Warbler Atlas Project. Several states are trying to manage and re-create golden-winged warbler habitats. Prescribed burning and selective timber harvest on Georgia's Brawley Mountain yielded an increase from 2 to 12 pairs in 2005. Eight hundred acres of the Chattahoochee National Forest on Chestnut Mountain also were burned in hopes of attracting this songbird and the area is now being restored to open oak-woodland habitats.
Sources include: Georgia DNR, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, The Breeding Bird Atlas of Georgia and others.

Did you see ...
tiger beetles video

Nongame in the news
AmmoLand: "Georgia statewide winners announced in Give Wildlife A Chance Poster Contest," DNR release on top posters picked for contest 2011-12 calendar. (April 4)
Yale Environment360: "Along scar from Iron Curtain, a green belt rises in Germany," "Death Strip" being turned into 870-mile nature preserve. (April 4)
The Florida Times-Union: "Sport-fish research will give Georgia insight," Coastal Resources Division biologists radio-track red drum, tarpon, spotted sea trout and other fish migrations to probe fisheries and habitats. (April 4)
WALB-TV NBC (Albany): "Baby owls may fall from nests during season," Tift County vet offers advice after great horned owl brought to his office. (April 4)
WJXX-TV ABC, WTLV-TV NBC (Jacksonville, Fla.; and others via AP): "Pelicans saved from Gulf oil stick to new Georgia homes," some brown pelicans relocated to Georgia return to nest on Atlantic coast. (April 1)
ScienceDaily: "Economic importance of bats in the 'billions a year' range," study in Science values bat benefits to North American agriculture at up to $53 billion annually. (April 1)
The Brunswick News (via Rome News-Tribune): "Turtle numbers increase at Jekyll center," Georgia Sea Turtle Center plans quarantine facility to house new turtle arrivals. (March)
The Tifton Gazette: "Bats invade Tifton house," thousands of bats make vacant historic home uninhabitable, city says. (March 28) New York Times' take: "No belfry, just a house with 20,000 or so bats" (March 30). OnEarth Blog response: "Why a Georgia town should love its 20,000 bats," with quotes from DNR biologist Nikki Castleberry (March 31).
Georgia Public Broadcasting: "Harbor project delay until 2016," Army Corps of Engineers says Savannah harbor deepening will take at least till 2016, if approved and funded. (March 28)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "All birding magazines are not created equal," Birder's World changes name to Birdwatching, spurring this review of other large birding magazines. (March 27)
Savannah Morning News: "Calving season produces 20 baby right whales off the coast of Georgia," biologists encouraged by above-average production. (March 24)
The Star-News (Wilmington, N.C.): "Working canines help conservationists sniff out other species," more press for CJ the Lab, used by the Orianne Society to search for eastern indigo snakes in Georgia. (March 24)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (and others via AP): "Sharks seen following whales off Georgia coast," great whites possibly following right whales along Southeastern seaboard. (March 24)  
WGLC-TV CBS (Atlanta): "Where does money from specialty plates go?" Explores new Georgia tag fees; includes interview with Wildlife Resources Division Director Dan Forster. (March 23)
The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier: "Whale, more dolphins found dead on SC beaches," pygmy sperm whale carcass follows string of 13 bottlenose dolphin strandings since late February. (March 21)
(Honolulu) Star Advertiser: "Tsunami kills thousands of albatrosses nesting at Midway Atoll," Sendai tsunami kills birds and damages nesting areas on low-lying atoll. (March 14)
The Florida Times-Union: "Centuries old logs on river bottoms would be auctioned if Ga. Senate bill passes," legislation stirs debate over mining logs from river bottoms. (March 12)
USA Today (and others via AP): "Toxin found in sardines that clogged US marina," millions of sardines that flooded southern California marina test positive for neurotoxin. (March 12)

April 18, 19, 21: DNR public hearings on proposed 2011-12 and 2012-13 hunting season regulations and regulations for non-hunting/angling fees on WMAs and PFAs. 7 p.m. April 18 at Stuckey Conference Center Auditorium/UGA Griffin Campus, Griffin; April 19 at Coffee County Courthouse, Douglas; April 21 at Georgia Mountains Center, Gainesville. Also comment online or by mail by April 29.
April 22: Earth Day (click "Events")
April 23: Volunteer conservation day at Joe Kurz WMA. Involves removing invasives, checking bird boxes, removing litter, etc. Organized by Georgia Important Bird Area Program. Charlie Muise,
April 28-May 1: Georgia Mountain BirdFest, Unicoi State Park and Lodge, Helen.
April 30: Coastal Georgia Audubon Society clean-up of Brunswick's Andrew Island Causeway, 8-10 a.m. Details: Marge Inness,
May 14: International Migratory Bird Day
April 29-May 1: Advanced Project WILD workshop The Birds and the Bees, Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center. (770) 784-3059.
May 26: Growing Up WILD facilitator training, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center. (770) 784-3059
June 12-16: Camp Talon (birding camp for teens), St. Simons Island. Rusty Garrison, or (770) 784-3059.
Submit events

Photo credits (from top)
* In masthead: Barking treefrog that hopped onto computer screen on desk of Melanie Parker, greenhouse manager at The State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Athens. Melanie Parker
* Georgia rockcress (Arabis georgiana). Michele Elmore/The Nature Conservancy
Georgia DNR biologist prepares to cut monofilament netting from an entangled right whale offshore of Brunswick. Georgia DNR/NOAA research permit #932-1905
*Golden-winged warbler. Tim Keyes/Ga. DNR
* Great white shark estimated at about 6 feet long photographed off Georgia coast in March. EcoHealth Alliance
* Bluebird at nest cavity. Terry W. Johnson
* Give Wildlife a Chance contest poster by Erin Li of SKA Academy of Art and Design in Duluth. Poster placed third statewide among entries from first- and second-graders (Division 2). State Botanical Garden of Georgia
* Banded brown pelican originally from Gulf of Mexico. Tim Keyes/Ga. DNR
* Children helping during a Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance workday at a mountain bog in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Carrie Radcliffe/Ga. DNR

Georgia Wild
volume 4, issue 4

This is: A free monthly e-newsletter produced by DNR and focused on nongame. Subscribe or see previous issues.

Nongame: Wildlife not legally trapped, fished for or hunted, plus native plants and natural habitats.

We are: 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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From 1 plant to 100s

Georgia rockcress makes
comeback at Black’s Bluff

By Mincy Moffett
   A rare Georgia plant species, the Georgia rockcress (Arabis georgiana), has been pulled from the precipice of extinction and is showing early signs of safeguarding success on the steep slopes above the Coosa River. The population of this small, white-flowered member of the mustard family (Brassicaceae), Georgia rockcresswhich is a state-protected species and a candidate for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act, had shrunk to one plant at The Nature Conservancy’s Black’s Bluff Preserve near Rome.
   But last spring, 100 individuals of the Georgia rockcress (Black’s Bluff ecotype) were outplanted at 10 appropriate micro-sites within the preserve. A thorough census this March indicated a survival rate of 85 percent, with 40 percent flowering.
   These very encouraging first-year results will serve as a spring-board for future Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance safeguarding efforts. The GPCA is an innovative network of public gardens, government agencies and environmental organizations committed to preserving the state’s endangered flora.
   The Black’s Bluff population of Georgia rockcress, discovered in the mid-1990s and consisting of just a few plants, dwindled to a single plant by 2007. Then the Nongame Conservation Section, along with GPCA partners, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, the Chattahoochee Nature Center and The Nature Conservancy, began the ambitious task of preserving the Black’s Bluff ecotype.
   Seed was collected from the last plant in fall 2008 before its death and transferred to the State Botanical Garden in Athens. Five plants were germinated from the seed. These plants became the initial stock that by 2009 produced thousands of seed and the second generation plants that were outplanted in 2010.
   Excess seed is warehoused at the State Botanical Garden. The Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell has taken over the role as lead propagator. It is expected that hundreds of seedlings and thousands of seed will be outplanted or direct-sown at Black’s Bluff in the next two years.
   Georgia rockcress is known from only six sites in Georgia; three in the Chattahoochee River basin and three within the drainage of the Coosa and Oostanaula rivers. Populations in northwest Georgia, including at Black’s Bluff, are of particular concern with sizes averaging from one to 30 individuals per site. The reintroduced population at Black’s Bluff will be monitored vigorously for signs of in-breeding depression that may result from the genetic bottle-neck of having a single parent.

Mincy Moffett has a doctorate in plant ecology and is a botanist and wildlife biologist with the DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section.

DNR disentangling a whale

Entanglements, strandings
shadow right whale counts

   The North Atlantic right whale calving season off the Southeast coast featured the good, the bad and the unexpected this year.
   Federal and state agencies, along with the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, documented 20 calves and 120 other right whales through March 31. The number of calves is about average, according to Clay George, a wildlife biologist with DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section.
  DNR also worked with NOAA Fisheries Service and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission staff to obtain skin samples from 23 whales, 12 of them calves. The genetic information is used to monitor these very rare whales.
   That’s all good.
   The bad: Five whales were seen entangled in fishing gear. The total matched the record high reached in 2009. Biologists disentangled two of them (video), sedating one – only the second time a whale has been sedated on the open ocean. The sedated whale, a young female already in poor condition, later died from complications of chronic entanglement with fishing gear.
   Compounding that loss, four more right whale mortalities were documented between South Carolina and Virginia. Of those, one died from entanglement in fishing gear and one from a ship collision. Cause of death in the other cases could not be determined.
   Two of the dead whales were breeding-age females, one of which was seen in the Southeast this winter with a calf. Protection of breeding-age females is critical to recovery of this endangered population.
   The deaths and entanglements are troubling but not altogether unexpected. Unfortunately, fishing gear entanglements and ship collisions are well-documented causes of right whale mortality. What surprised George this year was the distribution of whales. Fewer right whales were seen off the Georgia coast than in recent years. Most of the right whales were seen in Florida waters, some as far south as the Fort Lauderdale area.
   “Many moms with calves were only seen a handful of times this winter,” George said. “We believe the right whales may have moved farther south in response to the abnormally cold water temperatures in the Southeast this winter.”
   Another surprise: an orphaned newborn calf seen off St. Simons Island on Christmas Day. The calf appeared healthy and behaved normally, but biologists were unable to locate the calf’s mother. George speculated that the calf may have become separated from its mother during bad weather, or perhaps was abandoned for unknown reasons.

Great whites off Georgia
Aerial survey teams also documented numerous sightings of great white sharks offshore of Georgia and Florida this winter. great white sharkBiologists have seen great whites in previous years, but then the sharks were seen scavenging on dead whales. This year, numerous great whites were spotted swimming offshore when no whales were present. Biologists think great white sharks may migrate to Southeast waters to prey on young and sick whales. If so, the sharks likely return to the Northeast in spring as Southeast waters warm and whales return north to their feeding grounds.

Ranger handles hawk shooting
Teen takes lesson to heart

   Cpl. Jesse Cook knew two things after questioning a Camden County teen accused of shooting a hawk with a BB gun Feb. 20:
   The teen lied in denying he did it.
   Second, there might be a better way to handle the case – considering all factors, including family hardships – than charging him.
   When the 18-year-old confessed, Cook said he would speak with federal agents on his behalf if the teen would visit the injured red-shouldered hawk where it was being rehabilitated, talk with the vet caring for it and write a report on what he learned.
   The young man, who wants to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the Navy, turned the report in on time. The two pages detail the natural history of red-shouldered hawks and the extreme care, from physical therapy to feet cleanings and sometimes forced feedings, required to rehabilitate one.
   The teen then closes with an apology. He writes that he is “truly sorry and feel(s) really bad about shooting the bird.”
   “I promise never again to thoughtlessly shoot another living creature. I am truly thankful that you gave me this opportunity to learn more about the red-shouldered hawk and the ramifications of my actions. I will try my best to make a successful career of the Navy and not waste this opportunity that you have given me.”
   The hawk, a state- and federally protected species, has been moved to a flight cage at a rehabilitation center and is expected to fully recover.
   Cook, an 18-year DNR veteran, considers the teen’s prospects promising, too.
   “I personally don't believe that we will ever have any further problems out of (him) and I hope that he will become a successful young man.”

Out my backdoor
Drama in the bluebird box

By Terry W. Johnson
   To me, having a pair of bluebirds nest in my backyard is a big deal. It means I provided the birds with a much-needed place for them to lay their eggs. It also guarantees I will regularly see one of our most colorful birds for weeks to come.
   Yet, there also is a compelling story behind every nest. I’m convinced a quick glimpse of what goes on in and around a nest will help you better appreciate bluebirds nesting in your yard.
bluebird at nest    After a male eastern bluebird selects a nesting territory, he tries to attract a mate. If successful, he escorts her to the nesting sites in his domain. She inspects each before choosing one.
   Some females begin collecting materials for the nest within hours of making their choice; others wait a few days. Some persnickety females work on nests at several sites before focusing in on one box or natural cavity. Construction may take from two days to two weeks, but four to five days is the norm.
   The cup-shaped nest is a work of art. It is typically made of pine needles, grass, straw and twigs. Feathers and hair are occasionally included.
   Bluebird nests usually contain four to five eggs. Most are light blue but 5-9 percent are white. Once a female starts laying eggs, she lays one a day – usually before mid-morning – until the clutch is completed. Incubation begins once the last egg is laid, ensuring the eggs hatch at about the same time.
   Incubation takes from 13 to 20 days. The length is affected by the amount of food a male brings his mate and the air temperature in the box. Low temperatures and less food extend incubation.
   Hatchlings emerge naked, blind and immobile – in a word, helpless. They totally depend on the parents to feed and protect them. Because they have no feathers, they cannot regulate their body temperature. In cold weather, the female will brood her young to keep them warm.
   Feeding the young is a monumental task and requires both parents’ undivided attention. In Georgia, where bluebirds nest two to three times a year, the young hatched earlier in the year often assist in feeding their younger brothers and sisters. Each hatchling is fed about once every 20 minutes during daylight hours. At first, the diet is soft-bodied insects such as caterpillars. Hard-bodied insects are added as the young mature.
   When hatchlings are 8 days old, their eyes begin to open. Pin feathers appear within 10 days. Once the youngsters are 12-14 days old, they become very skittish and will bail out of a nest if disturbed. (Nest-box checks should be curtailed when the young reach this age!) The young are ready to take their first flight when they are anywhere from 17-21 days old.
   The young birds often have to be coaxed out of their secure home by their parents. If a young bird is too weak or refuses to leave, after a few hours the parents will abandon it.
   Once the fledglings take wing, they don’t return to the box. However, for the next three to four weeks they are fed by their parents.
   I would like say that all bluebird nesting attempts are successful. They aren’t. Females, their eggs and the young are all vulnerable to a wide range of hazards. House wrens will peck bluebird eggs. Predators such as rat snakes, cats and raccoons are always a threat. Parasites such as blow flies can kill hatchlings.
   Consequently, although the bluebird box standing at the edge of your yard may seem serene, you now know that the bluebirds using it are engaged in the deadly serious business of trying to raise their young.
   With that in mind, who needs to watch a contrived reality show on TV when a true life drama is being played out just outside your backdoor?

Terry Johnson is a former Nongame program manager with the Wildlife Resources Division, a backyard wildlife expert, and executive director of TERN, the friends group of the Nongame Conservation Section. (Permission is required to reprint this column. Contact

Read his full column on bluebirds, including the misperception that dads help with incubation.

Cleaning house
Ever noticed that after a brood of young bluebirds have “flown the coop” you never find any droppings in the box? The young birds’ dropping are surrounded by a thin membrane known as a fecal sac. The parents remove these sacs, dropping them some distance from the nest. It is thought this helps keeps odors down, which, in turn, reduces the chancebluebird cams that predators will find the young.

N.Y. bluebird cam
Peer inside a nest daily with the New York State Bluebird Society's nest cam. WildEarth TV is the web host for the live streaming video. Click image to view.


   Endangered Canby's dropwort in Dooly County is the focus of a federal Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program grant, one of only five approved nationwide this fiscal year. The $500,000 will go toward enrolling some 400 acres in and around Oakbin pond under conservation easements. Restoring the natural wetland, one of the few known Georgia sites with Oxypolis canbyi, is the goal of the project headed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service and DNR.
   On the General Assembly's last day, Georgia lawmakers passed legislation to provide for the transfer and distribution of unused income tax credits for donating real property for conservation purposes.  If Gov. Deal signs House Bill 346, the added incentive of being able to transfer credits takes effect next year and is expected to add to the number of landowners who donate conservation easements.
   Bald eagles are still going strong in Georgia. In this year’s aerial surveys of eagle nests, Nongame Program Manager Jim Ozier counted 142 occupied nesting territories – up from 2010 – but slightly fewer successful nests and young fledged than last year.
   Unfortunately, Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy, a neurological disease deadly to waterbirds, is going strong at Clarks Hill Reservoir. The number of known eagle nesting territories there has dwindled from as many as eight to two, with a pair of adult eagles found dead at one nest this year and 11 deaths documented all told since fall.
gopher tortoise poster    Winning artwork in the Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest is on display during weekends this month at the Go Fish Education Center in Perry. The 21st annual art competition sponsored by the DNR Wildlife Resources Division and The State Botanical Garden of Georgia fielded more than 4,400 entries from kindergarten through 5th-grade students. (Also see winners on Flickr!)
   White-nose syndrome continues to creep across the U.S. and Canada. Kentucky is the latest state to document the bat killer, confirming WNS in a little brown bat from a cave in Trigg County, just north of Nashville, Tenn.
   At least 10 adult brown pelicans rescued from the Gulf oil spill last summer and released on Georgia’s coast are in the Peach State for nesting season. The question for Nongame Conservabrown pelican from the Gulf of Mexicotion Section biologist Tim Keyes, who spotted the banded pelicans (one is pictured at left), is whether the rehabilitated birds actually nest and, if so, successfully raise young.
   Relocating red-cockaded woodpeckers is expanding these endangered birds across their range, the Southern Range Translocation Cooperative says in its 2008-2010 report. The partnership of federal agencies, five southern states and two universities topped its three-year target for red-cockaded woodpeckers moved to start or strengthen populations, including four pairs and three singles translocated last fall from Eglin Air Force Base to Silver Lake Wildlife Management Area near Bainbridge (see "Newcomers settling in," October 2010).
   Ten more robust redhorse will help scientists probe migration patterns and recruitment in the Broad River. The Nongame Conservation Section’s Brett Albanese and Deb Weiler helped capture and tag the rare suckers, doubling the number of fish the University of Georgia is tracking in a State Wildlife Grants project to better understand the river’s introduced population of robust redhorse.
   Longleaf pine forests in Georgia will benefit from funding to restore another 20,000 acres through the Conservation Reserve Program’s Longleaf Pine Initiative. Announced recently, the funding extends the landowners program dubbed CP36 that has restored more than 77,000 acres of longleaf pine since its start in 2006, continuing work started by a precursor program for longleaf – CP3A.
   A recent controlled burn at Dawson Forest Wildlife Management near Dawsonville will help eastern turkeybeard, state-listed as rare in Georgia. DNR Game Management and Nongame Conservation sections are collaborating on improving habitat for rare species on the 90-acre unit, with burning aimed at restoring vegetation communities on rocky, xeric ridgetops.
   Forest management and wildlife opening practices that enhance habitat for many wildlife species are detailed in a new set of free fact sheets from DNR's Wildlife Resources Division, the Georgia Forestry Commission and other conservation partners. Click here, then look under "Manage Wildlife On Your Land."

Parting shot

Like parent, like …
children join GPCA work day
Three children of DNR staff – from left, Harper Ann Moffett, Heron Eaton and Jarrod Shulimson – volunteer during a Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance workday in April. The smiles, hard hats and dirty hands were part of outplanting Carolina bog laurel (Kalmia carolina) at a mountain bog on Chattahoochee National Forest. Carolina bog laurel is state-listed as threatened in Georgia.


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