Georgia DNR's Nongame Conservation Section
receives no state funds to conserve nongame wildlife, native plants and natural habitats. We depend on contributions, grants and fundraisers, such as the eagle and hummingbird license plates. How can you help?
Heard this? “The daddy-longlegs is the most poisonous spider, but it can’t harm humans because its mouth is too small.” Interesting, but false. Daddy-longlegs
, or harvestmen, have eight legs like other arachnids, but they are not true spiders. True spiders have two body parts and eight eyes. Daddy-longlegs have one body part and two eyes. Daddy-longlegs don't spin webs because they cannot make silk. Also, they eat decomposing plants and animals since they have no fangs, no venom glands and no other way to attack prey.
Public lands profile
Big Dukes Pond
Though no walk in the park, Big Dukes Pond Wildlife Management Area is a unique, 1,692-acre conservation area near Millen. The most striking ecological feature is a Carolina bay
, but habitats include pond cypress swamp, pond cypress savanna, slash pine-mixed hardwoods, bay swamp and sandhill scrub communities. These support a diversity of plants and animals, including two endangered species -- the wood stork
and Canby’s dropwort
. Read more in this profile of Big Dukes by DNR natural resources biologist Shan Cammack.
: A Camden County resident confessed to catching gopher tortoises to eat after Sgt. Chris Hodge found seven tortoises in a pen and two cleaned shells behind the man's house. Hodge cited the man, who admitted to eating several gopher tortoises, and confiscated the live tortoises.
: The opening of the state's shrimp season on June 22 had shrimpers and rangers busy. Trawlers are checked for compliance with turtle excluder device
regulations. Officers made nearly 50 inspections last year.
Mimic glass lizard
Like the other three limbless lizards native to Georgia, the mimic glass lizard (Ophisaurus mimicus Palmer
) superficially resembles a snake, as reflected in common names such as glass or horn snake. The long-tailed lizard is strongly associated with longleaf pine-wiregrass communities in the lower Coastal Plain. Yet, the last confirmed mimic glass lizard collected in Georgia was in 1978, and the species may be significantly imperiled or no longer found here. More on mimic glass lizards and other rare Georgia species.
Did you see?
"Georgia: Restoring a ‘Wonder Tree’ in a Changing Climate
," a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service blog post about longleaf pine restoration.
DNR at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens' Endangered Species Day
. Biologists, botanists and wildlife interpretive staff shared live animals and unusual plants with guests, all captured in these photos on Flickr.
Tracking sea turtles
Georgia sea turtle nesting update from www.seaturtle.org
: 1,132 (21 lost)
: 446 (39.3%)
: 1,726 (3.3%)
As of June 24. Real-time reports.
are helping battle wildfires in and around Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Employees' roles range from firefighting to traffic control. Fire news: Georgia Forestry Commission
; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Two more miles
along the Altahama River have been acquired for conservation
, thanks to The Nature Conservancy in Georgia, the U.S. Marine Corps and DNR. The 1,080 acres in McIntosh County, home to at least 15 wildlife species of concern, will become part of Townsend and Altamaha wildlife management areas.
The Georgia Outdoor Recreation Pass
will be required for visitors ages 16-64 at some state wildlife management and public fishing areas starting Jan. 1. Those with WMA and other appropriate licenses will not need a GORP
, which will draw support for WMAs and PFAs from users other than hunters and anglers.
now offers views of DNR-managed lands, thanks to a file created by the Nongame Conservation Section's Chris Canalos. The file available at www.georgiawildlife.com/maps
shows approximate boundaries of the properties (Big Dukes Pond WMA is pictured).
have been added as a candidate for federal listing as threatened or endangered. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's recent finding that listing is "warranted but precluded" -- other candidate species are higher priority -- will allow the Fish and Wildlife Service to work with other groups on conserving the small salamander
found only in the Coastal Plain of Georgia and Florida.
on the Flint River recently turned up 10 state-endangered southern elktoes
-- possibly the largest single collection on record.
could be legal to hunt in Kentucky
by Christmas. The state's Fish and Wildlife Commission unanimously approved a Dec. 17-Jan. 15 season, a change that will require federal approval.
, the friends group of the Nongame Conservation Section, approved spending about $83,500 on 17 nongame proposals varying from the Youth Birding Competition to Project WILD workshops. Members of The Environmental Resources Network
raised most of the money at Weekend for Wildlife.
Alabama map turtles
were spotted by DNR staff in the Coosa River near Rome. The discovery bridges a gap in the known distribution of the species
, with previous occurrences recorded in Georgia only on the Conasauga and the upper Oostanaula rivers.
: Jon Ambrose
, assistant chief of the Nongame Conservation Section, recently graduated from the National Conservation Leadership Institute
, an elite eight-month program focused on preparing and retaining conservation leaders. Nongame biologist Clay George
has been promoted within NOAA's Large Whale Disentanglement Program to a Level 5 disentanglement coordinator, and as the Southeast's only Level 5 coordinator, will coordinate efforts during the right whale calving season off Georgia and northeast Florida. Former Longleaf Alliance executive director and DNR employee Emily Jo "E.J." Williams
has rejoined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as chief of Migratory Birds for the Southeast Region.
Nongame in the news
: "1,080 acres purchased for conservation
Coosa Valley News
: "Wood stork numbers down
: "Two new projects in Georgia receive Five Star Restoration grants
Georgia Public Broadcasting
: "Georgia waterways hitting historic lows
The Florida Times-Union
: "Griffin the sea turtle's final resting place on Jekyll Island
(Baton Rouge, La.; and others via AP): "Oil spill pelicans are having babies on Ga. coast
Smithsonian National Zoological Park
: "Smithsonian scientists find deadly amphibian disease in the last disease-free region of Central America
Savannah Morning News
: "Program brings Savannah kids to the sea on Tybee Island
: "Study details the impact that rising sea levels would have on Georgia’s coast
: "Longleaf pine key to Georgia’s handling of climate change
: "You can help save the hemlocks from the woolly adelgid
: "Grant to help fund invasive plant battle
(Savannah): "Huge sturgeon washes up on Tybee
The Florida Times-Union
: "Second invasive species found in Satilla River
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
: "A pitcher plant haven in southwest Georgia
: "Georgia Sea Grant combines art and science to teach about changing ecosystems
: "Georgia's rare species profiled online
: Atlanta Audubon Society’s Learning About Birds curriculum training, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Confederate Hall Historical and Environmental Education Center, Stone Mountain Park. Nikki Belmonte, firstname.lastname@example.org
: Open Our Garden Gates conference
by Coastal WildScapes and Sapelo Island National Estuarine Reserve, City Center, Richmond Hill.
Photo credits (from top)
** Masthead: Wood storks. Brad Winn
** Gopher tortoise. Linda May/Ga. DNR
** Wood storks nesting (great egret in the foreground). Tim Keyes/Ga. DNR
** Mimic glass lizard. John Jensen/Ga. DNR
** DNR's Clay George cuts loose the entangled dolphin. Ga. DNR
** Terry Johnson's granddaughter, Anna Leverette, admires an eastern tiger swallowtail. Donna Johnson
** Alabama map turtles on the Coosa River. John Jensen/Ga. DNR
** Brown pelican nesting on Little Egg Island Bar. Tim Keyes/Ga. DNR