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.
* 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.
Do you have bats
in your belfry? Maybe not, but you could have them in your attic. Georgia’s bats mate and rear young from May through July, and they often find the louvers in your attic vents as good places to do so. As long as your vent screens are intact, bats will stay on the outside of the screen and won’t get inside your attic. When the young are about a month old and can fly, the whole colony often leaves. However, the same bats may return next year. Bats are beneficial insect-eaters and killing them is illegal. Visit www.georgiawildlife.com
for more information.
The summer Invasive Plant Control Workshop
organized by the Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council will focus on identifying, controlling and mapping exotic invasives. The workshop is scheduled for June 17 at UGA’s Griffin Campus. Details
With 2011 funding set
for the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program, wildlife agencies are eyeing negotiations for the new fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. The request for "the most robust funding possible" cites President Obama's budget proposal for $95 million and calls for continuing the 35 percent match required to receive grants. State Wildlife Grants
, the core program for keeping the nation's wildlife from becoming endangered, were cut 31 percent this year.
Did you see ...
Epidendrum conopseum R. Brown
: Small perennial herb that grows on trees and rocks. Leafy stems attach to orchid’s substrate by a mass of roots. Marked by glossy evergreen leaves, greenfly orchid
can be found on shaded limbs of southern magnolia and live oaks, as well as other hardwoods in swamps and on bluffs.
: Greenfly is the only orchid found on trees in Georgia. It is frequently hidden among the fronds of resurrection fern.
: Lives in maritime evergreen oak forest and in outer Coastal Plain. Found across the Southeast’s Coastal Plain from North Carolina to Louisiana. Eastern Mexico has a separate population.
: Old-growth forests, mostly live oak or hardwood. These orchids grow along the branches but are not parasitic. They require year-round shade and moisture.
: May through the end of July.
: Small, drooping capsules harden and then burst open, dispersing thousands of tiny seeds. The fruiting period runs from September to January.
: May be hard to spot because it is small and often grows high in trees. Where greenfly orchids are found on rocks, the evergreen, flowering stems and loosely arranged flowers (greenish-yellow and sometimes tinged with purple) help distinguish it from other orchids.
: Greenfly orchids are the most frost-tolerant of Georgia’s epiphytic
: State-listed as unusual in Georgia, where it has been recorded in 20 counties in the southeastern Coastal Plain. Not federally listed. Considered a high-priority species in Georgia’s State Wildlife Action Plan.
: Timber harvest is the major threat to this species, which grows only in intact old-growth oak forests. Greenfly's frost-tolerant characteristic also make it a target of irresponsible collectors.
About that name
: The genus name Epidendrum is derived from the Greek words for “on tree.”
: Naturalist-explorer William Bartram
made the first recorded observation of the greenfly orchid in 1773 while searching for the “discovery of rare and useful productions of nature, chiefly in the vegetable kingdom."
How you can help
: Support conservation of old-growth forests and help spread the word about their importance and diversity.
Sources include: “Protected Plants of Georgia” (Georgia DNR); “Field Guide to the Rare Plants of Georgia” (Linda G. Chafin)
. Also see DNR's rare species profiles online.
devastating bat populations in the U.S. has spurred a national plan to combat it. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced the strategy
for white-nose syndrome, which has killed more than 1 million hibernating bats and spread to 18 states and four Canadian provinces, though not yet to Georgia.
Sea turtle nesting season
is off to a swimming start in Georgia, with more than 250 nests documented since late April
. The downside: About 80 strandings
of dead or injured turtles have been found, prompting cautions for boaters
to slow down and watch for sea turtles (and manatees).
Sea turtle genetics research
led by UGA grad student Brian Shamblin has been expanded from Georgia’s coast to South and North Carolina. The work with DNR and others that identifies a DNA “fingerprint”
for each nesting female is providing insights such as the number of nesting turtles, and drawing accolades for Shamblin: UGA’s Stoddard-Burleigh-Sutton award for Wildlife Conservation and best student oral presentation in population assessment at the 2011 International Sea Turtle Symposium.
The 2011 State of the Birds
Report is touted as the first assessment of potential for bird conservation on public lands. According to the report
, those habitats support more than 800 bird species, a third of them either listed or considered a species of concern.
One hundred Alabama shad
collected below Lake Seminole’s
Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam have been implanted with radio tags. The tags will help determine the success of fish passage efforts at the dam, and pinpoint spawning locations for the anadromous shad
in the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers.
The National Marine Fisheries Service's denial of a petition
to list Alabama shad as federally threatened or endangered was based partially on research DNR’s Fisheries Management Section and the South Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit began in 2005 with State Wildlife Grants funding ("Study key to shad, locks," March-April 2008
). While Alosa alabamae
is a species of concern, the petition failed for lack of evidence showing listing is warranted.
Ten Georgia natural areas
have been renamed wildlife management areas. The change for Big Dukes Pond, Zahnd and others follows a DNR Land Management Steering Committee recommendation and will not affect management of the sites, only public confusion over the difference between WMAs and NAs.
are being thinned on the Satilla River -- thankfully. Nearly 27 tons of the invasive catfish have been removed from the Satilla since DNR began a full-time program
donated $2,500 to the Nongame Conservation Section, money raised by fifth-graders selling Earth Day T-shirts
with an eagle on the front. Nongame Conservation Section Program Manager Jim Ozier talked to the students about eagles, and Alan “Smokey” Drury of the Georgia Falconry Association gave them a close look at one.
Of course, falcons rule
in Atlanta, and four raised in a nest at the SunTrust Plaza downtown were banded this month by Ozier and DNR Wildlife Resources Division Director Dan Forster (pictured, at right
). The three females and lone male will soon take flight.
, outreach coordinator at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, was an early inspiration for a UGA grad student. Ami Flowers told the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources magazine
that as a child she saw a program led by “Ranger Pete” and thought, “’I want to do that!’ And here I am today, making natural resources my career.”
Weekend for Wildlife
is the fundraiser that keeps on giving. TERN joined with the Jekyll Island Authority, Coastal Wildscapes, the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance and others last month to plant about 100 sea oats
used during the 2011 Weekend
at Jekyll’s Great Dunes Park.
The 89 birders
at Unicoi State Park’s first Georgia Mountain Birdfest learned a lot and saw a lot. Species spotted included golden-winged
and Cerulean warblers
, raising the bar for the 2012 Birdfest, set for May 3-6.
The new Year of the Turtle
newsletter profiles longtime Georgia herpetologist Whit Gibbons. In the Q&A
, Gibbons says his favorite turtle species is the diamondback terrapin, with its “dreamy eyes of a golden retriever … unassuming face of a manatee …docile temperament of a lamb and beauty of the prettiest seashell.”
A citizen’s tip
led to charges and guilty pleas this spring for a man and a juvenile in the 2009 shooting of a whooping crane
in Indiana. The public’s help is also needed for investigations into separate killings
of the endangered cranes this winter in Georgia and Alabama.
When it comes to rare wildlife
, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hopes a new work plan
will allow it to focus on the most at-risk species. A proposal filed in federal court with frequent plaintiff WildEarth will, if accepted by the court, enable the agency to prioritize its work based on needs of more than 250 candidate species.
Tracking sea turtles
A Georgia sea turtle nesting update from www.seaturtle.org
: 253 (4 lost, 1.5%)
: 98 (39%)
: 338 (2.8%)
*As of May 25. Here's a complete look at real-time data and beach reports.
Nongame in the news
(Atlanta): "Invasive plant killing bald eagles in Georgia
," DNR Nongame Program Manager Jim Ozier quoted on impact of AVM on eagles at Lake Thurmond. (May 19)
: "Rodent rediscovered and photographed after 113 years
," magnificent red-crested tree rat not seen since 1898 reappears ... at an ecolodge in Colombian nature reserve. (May 19)
The Daily (Va.) Press
(and others via AP): "Study shows population growth, urbanization could reduce Southern forests over next 50 years
," factors may shrink region's forestland by 200 million acres. (May 17)
The Augusta Chronicle
: "No one bids on weeds in Savannah River
," Augusta Port Authority finds no takers on its weed control program. (May 16)
: "Trekking the Charlie Elliot Wildlife Center Trail
," profile of center's main trail. (May 16)
"There's no magic number for saving endangered species
," new study by UK/US research team offers hope for "too rare to save" species, if conservation efforts target key threats. (May 16)
Savannah Morning News
: "Coastal Georgia shrimpers turn to jellyfish to make money
," cannonball jellies keeping some shrimpers in business. (May 15)
: "Country Cuckoos grand champions
," Bainbridge team wins DNR's Youth Birding Competition. (May 13)
University of New Hampshire
: "Deepwater Horizon spill threatens more species than legally protected, study finds
," researchers say 39 additional marine species face elevated risk of extinction. (May 11)
Knoxville News Sentinel
: "Knoxville Zoo's herpetology director, bog turtle advocate dies
," Bern Tyron championed East Tennessee's bog turtles for 25 years. (May 10)
: "Georgia's rare species profiled online
," DNR release announcing updated and expanded rare wildlife accounts. (May 9)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
: "Oak leaves at risk from curious caterpillars
," native caterpillar turns pest as its turns its appetite on Georgia's oak trees. (May 5)
Savannah Morning News
: "Moore exhibits creative talents
," Effingham County second-grader one of 12 winners in Georgia Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest held by DNR and State Botanical Garden of Georgia. (May 4)
: "Nonstop Southern racket is cicadas looking for love
," emergence of 13-year cicadas draws media buzz. (May 3)
: "Rare riverine dunes in South Ga.
," online column promotes Ohoopee Dunes Natural Area. (May 1)
Cape Cod Times
(and others via AP): "New right whale calf spotted in R.I. Sound
," sighting off New England adds to season's total for endangered species. (April 30)
: "Endangered leatherback sea turtle kicks off Georgia nesting season
," leatherbacks beat loggerheads to the beach again this nesting season. (April 27)
(Savannah): "Public land in Wayne County, why some say it remains important
," DNR's John Evans touts Penholoway Swamp and other local WMAs. (April 27)
Savannah Morning News
: "Downtown hotel offers a room with a view, of raptors
," red-tailed hawks nest on ledge at Bay Street hotel. (April 27)
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
: "Prey-tell: Why right whales linger in the Gulf of Maine
," migration pattern of copepods may play key role in localized right and sei whale concentrations. (April 26)
(Savannah) and others: "Sea oats planted on Jekyll Island
," TERN-led project to reuse sea oats from 2011 Weekend for Wildlife. (April 16)
The Augusta Chronicle
: "Seeking Savannah River's elusive sturgeon
," tri-state effort targets better understanding of Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon. (April 15)
The Gazette (Iowa)
: "Decorah nest cam just the latest of raptor man’s exploits
," meet the man behind the popular eagle nest cam. (April 13)
Georgia Public Broadcasting
: "Bald eagle faces new threat
," AVM threatens rebounding eagle population. (April 12). Other coverage of DNR's annual eagle surveys: Augusta
, Bryan County
(and others via AP).
: 13th Annual Tybee Island Sea Kayak Races
, A-J's Dockside Restaurant. Benefits Tybee Island Marine Science Center.
: Natural Resources Conservation Workshop
for rising Georgia 10-12th-graders, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Tifton.
: Camp Talon (birding camp for teens), St. Simons Island. Rusty Garrison, firstname.lastname@example.org
or (770) 784-3059.
: Georgia Forestry Foundation's 7th annual Teacher Conservation Workshop
, Charlie Elliott Wildlife Conference Center, Mansfield.
Photo credits (from top)
* In masthead: 13-year cicada. Linda May/Ga. DNR
*Coldwater darter. Brett and Rachel Albanese/Ga. DNR
* Dip-netting tadpoles and newt larvae in seasonal pond at Fall Line Sandhills Natural Area. Matt Elliott/Ga. DNR
* Greenfly orchid. Hugh and Carol Nourse
* Striped newt larvae from Fall Line Sandhills. Ryan C. Means/Coastal Plains Institute and Land Conservancy
* Oval pigtoe. Ga. DNR
* Sandhill at Big Hammock Natural Area. Alan Cressler
* DNR's Jim Ozier and Dan Forster band young peregrine falcons in Atlanta. Emily Woods/McKenna, Long & Aldridge
* Brood 19 cicada emerging from exoskeleton. Terry W. Johnson
* Brood 19 cicadas and exoskeletons in Jasper County, Ga. John Jensen/Ga. DNR
* Clapper rail at St. Simons Island's Bloody Marsh. John Mark Simmons
volume 4, issue 5
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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