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A Talk on the Wild Side.

Endangered Species Spotlight: Swallow-Tailed Kite

Started in 2006 by the United States Congress, Endangered Species Day sets aside the third Friday in May to recognize the importance of endangered species and is an occasion to educate the public on how to protect them. This year, Endangered Species Day falls on May 18th.  In the weeks leading up to Endangered Species Day, we'll be putting a spotlight on a few endangered and threatened species for you to learn more about what makes them unique. And there's still time to enter the Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest!

Swallow Tailed KiteSwallow-Tail Kite in flight in Big Cypress, Florida.  Photo: Artur Pedziwilk, Creative Commons

Though not federally listed, the swallow-tailed kite is listed as endangered in the state of South Carolina, where the primary threat to its is habitat loss and pesticide use.

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Let's Go Outside! Featured Refuge Events for the Week of December 12th

Is holiday shopping, cooking, and preparing making you say "Bah-Humbug" more than "Happy Holidays!"?  Take a break from all the running around and head outside to get a breath of fresh air. Even though the temperature is dropping there are still things to do and see.

Here are some of the events happening at refuges across the country this week, some in the spirit of the season.  Check out this link for more events happening in December on our refuges.

As always, make sure you head over to the Refuge System's homepage and use their searchable map to find events at a Wildlife Refuge near you.

Let's go outside!

SnowshoeingGuests snowshoe at Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge in the Mountain-Praire Region, Photo: Jennifer Jewett

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South Carolina: A Closer Look at Sea Level Rise on Cape Romain

A bird sitting atop a post

Location: Charleston County, South Carolina
Size: 66,267 acres
Main Objectives: Provide habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, and resident species. There are over 277 species of birds found on the refuge.
Open to the public: Yes
Website: http://www.fws.gov/caperomain/
Climate Change Threat: sea level rise and loss of freshwater impoundments
Contacts: Stacy Shelton, USFWS, (404) 679-7290
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Photos: Photoset on Flickr
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Video: There's Nothing Level About Sea Level

South Carolina: A Closer Look at Sea Level Rise on Cape Romain

by Stacy Shelton

A wooden post in the middle of open water at Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge near Charleston, South Carolina is literally a sign of climate change.

The sign warns visitors to keep their dogs off the refuge. It made sense until 2009, when the sea swallowed the island it sat atop. The narrow island, called Sandy Point, used to be a perfect nesting area for American oystercatchers, Wilson’s Plovers and terns. Just ten years ago, Sandy Point stretched for a mile.

Four aerial images show Sandy Point eroding
The disappearing island of Sandy Point at Cape Romain. Credit: USFWS. Click for full size.

The nearby Cape Island is also important habitat for wildlife. It’s one of the most important nesting areas on the Atlantic Coast for loggerhead sea turtles, a threatened species that may soon be uplisted to endangered.

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