Tag: Gopher Tortoise
The content below has been tagged with the term “Gopher Tortoise.”
May 25, 2018 | 8 minute read
Andalusia, 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. Learn more...
January 23, 2018 | 4 minute read
Before 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...
August 22, 2017 | 8 minute read
Atlanta, 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...
August 9, 2017 | 8 minute read
If 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...
July 20, 2017 | 2 minute read
Ben and LouAnn Williams own approximately 3,400 acres of pinelands interspersed with bottomland hardwoods in Putnam County, Florida, between Jacksonville and Daytona Beach. Their property contributes to conservation on a regional scale because it is adjacent to publicly owned conservation areas, creating an important link in a chain of conservation lands from central Florida to the Georgia state line. Sandhill after prescribed burn. Photo by Ben Williams. In 2012, the Williams’ began establishing longleaf pine on their property and reintroduced prescribed burning. Learn more...
July 12, 2017 | 4 minute read
Brunswick, Georgia – Altama Plantation is perhaps the most critical, and intriguing, piece of property along the entire Altamaha River corridor. It was here in the early 1800s that plantation owner James Hamilton Couper introduced the Dutch system of tidal floodgates to grow rice. He planted sugar cane and built a refinery whose red-brick remains still stand. Couper, a noted scientist, also recorded the first eastern indigo snake, a threatened species which bears his name (Drymarchon couperi). Learn more...
July 12, 2017 | 3 minute read
Jesup, Georgia – “Well now, welcome to the swamp.” Dink NeSmith stands astride a weathered wooden dock on Sandy Lake, a meandering offshoot of the Altamaha River. To some, the oxbow lake is nothing but a muddy, buggy, alligator-friendly bog. To NeSmith, it’s an open-air cathedral in all its natural “majesty.” “God put it here a long time ago,” he preached, “and it’s on loan to my family and me and we want to do our part to make sure it remains a clean, safe environment for our great, great, great, great grandchildren. Learn more...
July 12, 2017 | 13 minute read
It meanders 137 miles through the wild heart of Georgia, a blackwater beauty that nourishes longleaf pine forests, cypress swamps, saltwater estuaries and the barrier islands that protect the Atlantic coast and migratory birds alike. Learn more...
October 16, 2017 | 2 minute read
Mt. 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...