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  • A woodpecker perched on a tree with a bug in its mouth
    A red-cockaded woodpecker has dinner outside its nesting cavity. Photo by USFWS.

    Income tax check for wildlife

    January 18, 2016 | 2 minute read

    Transcript Welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature. Tax time approaches, and in North Carolina this provides an easy opportunity to support wildlife conservation. Taxpayers can help conserve North Carolina’s nongame wildlife by donating a portion of their state income tax refund to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund by checking on line 30 of their state tax form. Nongame wildlife includes all the birds, mammals, fish, mollusks, reptiles, amphibians, and crayfish that do not have a designated hunting or fishing season.  Learn more...

  • A bright yellow flower emerges from the forest floor.
    Trout lily blooming at new Mountain Bogs NWR. Photo by Gary Peeples, USFWS.

    Land and Water Conservation Fund

    January 11, 2016 | 2 minute read

    Transcript Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature. Over 50 years ago, Congress created the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a program that uses revenues from offshore oil and gas drilling in public waters to purchase land and easements for conservation and public recreation. The program has supported more than 42,000 national, state and local parks and outdoor recreation projects in all 50 states. These projects conserve public lands in or near national parks, refuges, and forests; increase access for hunting and fishing; and provide grants to states for close-to-home recreation and conservation on non-federal lands.  Learn more...

  • A woman wearing a warm hat preparing to plant a tiny spruce tree seedling.
    Information icon Sue Cameron plants a red spruce at Whigg Meadow in Tennessee. Photo by Garry Peeples, USFWS.

    Forest fragmentation

    January 4, 2016 | 2 minute read

    Transcript Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature. According to U.S. Forest Service researchers and their partners, between 2000 and 2012 the world lost 660,000 square miles of forest, an area more than twice the size of Texas. But the scientists looked beyond simple acreage lost, and examined patterns of forest loss, providing an idea of forest fragmentation. If half of a thousand-acre forest is cut, how the remaining 500 acres are distributed – in one solid clump, or as a long, thin line for example – has a tremendous impact on the ecological role that forest plays.  Learn more...

  • A hand holding a tiny eel
    Juvenile American eel. Photo by Greg Thompson, USFWS.

    American eels in the Southern Appalachians

    December 28, 2015 | 1 minute read

    Transcript Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature. All American eels hatch from eggs in the Sargasso Sea, an area of the Atlantic Ocean east of the Bahamas and south of Bermuda. From there, the young eels head west, swimming up streams from Canada to South America, where they spend most of their lives, returning to the ocean to reproduce and die. When swimming up those east coast streams, some of them make it into the Appalachian Mountains.  Learn more...

  • Bright red flowers with green foliage.
    Rhododendron in bloom. Photo by Richard, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

    In the wake of hemlock woolly adelgid

    December 21, 2015 | 2 minute read

    Transcript Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature. Hemlock woolly adeglid, a tiny Asian insect, has killed hemlock trees across the southern Appalachians, opening up the forest canopy to additional sunlight. The plant which has benefited the most from the increased light is rosebay rhododendron, which is growing twice as fast as expected. Rhododendron grows so densely that flowering plants, ferns, and seedlings can’t survive beneath its shade.  Learn more...

  • A bright white lighthouse emerges over calm water and a mix of palm and oak trees.
    Lighthouse at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Steve Hillebrand, USFWS.

    Free admission to National Wildlife Refuges

    December 14, 2015 | 2 minute read

    Transcript Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature. Head outdoors and enjoy some of the country’s most magical places — America’s National Wildlife Refuges offer unparalleled opportunities to experience the great outdoors and see a rich diversity of wildlife in beautiful natural settings. If that wasn’t enticement enough, refuges that normally charge entrance fees will offer an additional incentive — free admission on these days in 2016:  Learn more...

  • A brown bird with purple wing tips floats on semi-frozen water.
    Information icon Female wood duck at Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge. Photo © Quincey Banks.

    Setting duck seasons

    December 7, 2015 | 2 minute read

    Transcript Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature. In the United States, the vast majority of wildlife management is done by state wildlife agencies – the same folks who issue your hunting and fishing licenses. But there are some areas where the federal government steps in and takes a larger role. Ducks fly up and down North America each year, and they are avidly hunted. What if hunters in Virginia shot all the ducks before they could get to North Carolina?  Learn more...

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