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Tag: Gopher Tortoise

The content below has been tagged with the term “Gopher Tortoise.”

Articles

  • A pine forest with trees snapped in half by high winds and a bent speed limit sign

    After Hurricane Michael

    November 29, 2018 | 6 minute readCamilla, Georgia — Hurricane Michael barreled across prime Southern timber territory, damaging five million acres of pines and hardwoods and destroying nearly $1.7 billion worth of marketable trees. Habitat for many of the region’s at-risk species — red-cockaded woodpeckers, gopher tortoises, eastern indigo snakes — was sundered. Red-cockaded woodpecker in flight. Photo by Martjan Lammertink, U.S. Forest Service. Now, six weeks after Michael killed more than 45 people in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia, forest owners salvage timber, clear stands and pray for a market rebound. Learn more...

    Tyndall Air Force Base pine forests were scissored by Hurricane Michael. Photo by Dan Chapman, USFWS.

  • A drum-shapped buoy washed ashore with plam trees and a lighthouse in the distance

    Service makes headway in Hurricane Michael repairs

    October 17, 2018 | 5 minute readSt. Marks, Florida — The images of Hurricane Michael’s rampage across the Panhandle have been seared, by now, into the nation’s collective consciousness: the roofless homes; the mountains of debris; the long lines of anguished people; and the miles of chopped-in-half trees. The worst of the damage came courtesy of winds nearing 155 mph. Michael’s counter-clockwise punch, though, pushed water from the Gulf of Mexico deep inland, swamping small towns, barrier islands and wildlife refuges, particularly along Michael’s eastern edge. Learn more...

    A buoy washed ashore by Hurricane Michael at St. Marks NWR.

  • A prescribed fire burns vegetation just outside of a housing development.

    Safe and sound burning

    September 10, 2018 | 9 minute readHobe Sound, Florida — The well-to-do on Jupiter Island wanted the wildlife refuge burned and who was to say no? Not the federal biologists at the refuge across the Intracoastal Waterway. They were eager to accommodate their neighbors and restore the pine scrub habitat. But the stakes — and potential dangers — were high. A prescribed fire, by its nature, is carefully planned and executed to minimize mishaps. Yet, winds shift. Learn more...

    Prime example of wildland urban interface on Sanibel Island, J.N. “Ding” Darling NWR. Photo by USFWS.

  • A deep black snake coiled up on sandy soil with young longleaf pine seedlings in the background

    Snakes in a bag

    May 25, 2018 | 8 minute readAndalusia, Alabama — A gaggle of biologists, zookeepers, college students and government officials traipsed through the Deep South longleaf pine forest one recent, gorgeous spring morning carefully clutching white pillowcases. They were looking for holes. More specifically, gopher tortoise burrows into which they could deposit their precious cargo of Eastern indigo snakes, aka “Emperors of the Forest.” Southern Alabama including Conecuh National Forest. Map by Roy Hewitt, USFWS. The smooth, black, long — longest in North America — indigo snake is listed as federally threatened under the Endangered Species Act and in dire need of propagation and restoration to historical habitats. Learn more...

    An Eastern indigo snake on sandy soil associated with the longleaf pine ecosystem. Photo © Houston Chandler, the Orianne Society (Used with permission).

  • Three Native American men stand in front of a sign.

    Woven from the Landscape

    January 23, 2018 | 4 minute readBefore the United States was settled by Europeans, longleaf pine forests covered about 90 million acres of the Southeast. Most of these forests were logged for turpentine and lumber, and by 1975 they had been reduced to about 5 million acres. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is working with countless private landowners, state and federal agencies and conservation groups, to restore the glory of the longleaf. The motivation for many of these conservationists is to help the many at-risk and endangered birds and wildlife that thrive in longleaf forests from the red-cockaded woodpecker to the gopher tortoise. Learn more...

    Coushatta Tribe members (from left) Bertney Langley, Ernest Sickey and Gardner Rose show a sign that honors the habitat restoration partnership between the tribe and the Service. Photo courtesy of the Coushatta Tribe.

  • A military officer in uniform releases a gopher tortoise next to a burrow.

    Boosting the gopher tortoise

    August 22, 2017 | 8 minute readAtlanta, Georgia – Typically, animals like the Florida panther lose their Southern habitat, dwindle perilously close to extinction and end up on the endangered species list. Federal, state and non-profit groups hustle to raise money and conserve land to bolster the populations with the chance, one day, of delisting it. The gopher tortoise, though, just might buck the trend. An at-risk species in Georgia, Florida and parts of Alabama and South Carolina, the tank-like tortoise is the recipient of an unprecedented, high-dollar collaboration between government agencies, NGOs and the private sector to keep gopherus polyphemus from ever gracing the threatened or endangered species list. Learn more...

    Col. Matthew Higer, 96th Test Wing vice commander, bends down to release a gopher tortoise into its new home deep within the Eglin Air Force Base. Photo by Samuel King Jr., U.S. Air Force.

  • A many wearing a wide-brimmed hat walking through a forest next to a young longleaf pine seedling.

    Longleaf pine for Georgians

    August 22, 2017 | 9 minute readLongleaf pine trees once blanketed the landscape from southern Virginia to east Texas. They were majestic hallmarks of the Southeast. Learn more...

    Reese Thompson is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others to conserve a natural longleaf pine stand on his south Georgia land. Photo by Bill O’Brian, USFWS.

  • A gentleman with a grey mustache standing next to a mature longleaf pine tree.

    Growing trees, saving species

    August 9, 2017 | 8 minute readIf one of the Southeast’s signature species is the gopher tortoise, so, too, is the towering pine that shades its burrow. The longleaf pine is one of the Southeastern United States’ great trees. When European settlers came to North America, they discovered Pinus palustris. It stretched across 90 million acres, from east Texas to Virginia, and was just what a young nation needed to grow. The wood from the conifer built homes, sailing masts and even roads. Learn more...

    Longleaf pines, says Salem Saloom, are "part of our heritage." Photo by Mark Davis, USFWS.

News

  • Red-cockaded woodpecker flying from its nest.

    Base recognized for conservation work

    May 30, 2018 | 4 minute readCamp Blanding, flush with federally endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers, donates juvenile birds to other wildlife areas across the South. Nearly two-thirds of the National Guard base in Northeast Florida is prime habitat for at-risk gopher tortoises too. More than 10,000 acres of pine and scrub is carefully burned each year to benefit under-threat flora and fauna as well as conservation-friendly longleaf pines. And the joint military base is a critical piece in the creation of a wildlife corridor that connects central Florida to southeast Georgia. Read the full story...

    Red-cockaded woodpecker. Photo by Martjan Lammertink, U.S. Forest Service.

  • October 16 ribbon cutting ceremony to be held at Sansavilla Wildlife Management Area

    October 16, 2017 | 2 minute readMt. Pleasant, Georgia – On Monday, October 16, the Department of Natural Resources will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony to announce the acquisition of the final phase of more than 19,000 acres purchased for the Sansavilla Wildlife Management Area. Featuring 12 miles of Altamaha River frontage and one of the largest gopher tortoise populations in Georgia, the area provides fishing opportunities, wildlife watching locations, canoeing, boating, and hunting for deer, turkey, and small game species. Read the full story...

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