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  • A black, furry hog walks across a grass path.
    Wild hog. Photo by Tom Mortenson, FWC.

    Hogs in Tennessee

    October 5, 2015 | 2 minute read

    Transcript Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature Southern Appalachian Mountain bogs are one of the rarest habitats in the nation, and on my way to visit a North Georgia bog, our guides stopped to check a hog trap – designed to catch the hogs that were rooting in the bog, and damaging some of its rare plants. Feral hogs can cause tremendous damage to our natural areas, and now Tennessee is going to survey farmers and other rural landowners to get a state-wide estimate of economic damage from feral hogs.  Learn more...

  • A small brown bat on the roof of a cave with a fuzzy white fungus on its nose.
    Information icon A tri-color bat in the Avery County with white-nose syndrome. Photo by Gabrielle Graeter, NCWRC.

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park closure for bats

    September 28, 2015 | 2 minute read

    Transcript Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced the closure of the Whiteoak Sink area effective now through March 31, 2016 to limit human disturbance to bat hibernation sites and help hikers avoid interactions with bats. Park biologists have reported dramatic declines of cave-dwelling bat populations throughout the park, thought to be due to white-nose syndrome. Infected bats are marked by a white fungal growth on their noses, wings, and tail membrane.  Learn more...

  • A shiny green insect burrowed into a tree.
    Emerald ashe borer. Photo by USDA.

    Emerald ash borer control

    September 21, 2015 | 2 minute read

    Transcript Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature. On a recent camping trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it bore remembering that the park only allows outside firewood that is certified as being heated to the point that undesirable insects hitching a ride on the wood would be killed. One of the undesirable insects that is already in the park is the emerald ash borer. This Asian insect was first detected in the United States in Michigan in 2002 and has killed tens of millions of ash trees across the U.  Learn more...

  • A colorful yellow and red trout covered in small black spots.
    Information icon A wildlife biologist holds a rainbow trout. Photo by Mark Lisac, USFWS.

    Cold water species and climate change

    September 14, 2015 | 2 minute read

    Transcript Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature. New research on the effects of warming temperatures and stream acidity projects average habitat losses of around 10 percent for coldwater aquatic species in southern Appalachian national forests – including up to a 20 percent loss of habitat in the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests. The researchers, from the Forest Service, Oregon State University, and E&S Environmental Chemistry, focused on streams draining seven national forests in the southern Appalachian region, first mapping out how much of the area’s current habitat is suitable for acid- and heat-sensitive animals such as the native eastern brook trout.  Learn more...

  • A colorful green/brown and red trout covered in small red spots.
    Information icon A wildlife biologist holds a small eastern brook trout. Photo by Steve Droter, Chesapeake Bay Program.

    Whirling disease and North Carolina

    September 7, 2015 | 2 minute read

    Transcript Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature. Whirling disease, a parasitic disease affecting trout and salmon, has been found in North Carolina. The disease, native to Europe, affects trout and salmon by damaging nerves and cartilage, which may result in abnormal whirling or tail-chasing behavior. Other signs are a black tail and deformities to the head or body. These abnormalities in behavior and body make the fish more susceptible to predation and make it more difficult for the fish to find food.  Learn more...

  • A monarch butterfly perched on a bushy plant with bright yellow flowers.
    Monarch fueling up for migration. Photo by Lilibeth Serrano, USFWS.

    Pollinator garden success

    August 31, 2015 | 2 minute read

    Transcript Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature Staff at the Asheville-based non-profit Monarch Rescue recently reported that monarch butterfly eggs and caterpillars were found at a pollinator garden they worked with students to install at Yancey County’s Mountain Heritage High School. The high-school pollinator garden is one of 100 sties recently added to the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trial. The trail, established in April 2013, raises awareness of the monarch’s plight and encourages the conservation of butterflies and their habitats.  Learn more...

  • Tall stems extending from the forest floor give way to bright white dangling flowers.
    Information icon White fringeless orchid. Photo by USFWS.

    North Carolina receives bog conservation grant

    August 24, 2015 | 2 minute read

    Transcript Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced 37.2 million dollars in grants to 20 states to support the conservation of threatened and endangered species across the nation, and a portion of that money is coming to the southern Appalachians. The North Carolina Plant Conservation Program is receiving more than $41,000 to help acquire seven Henderson County acres that are home to an endangered and a threatened plant.  Learn more...

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