Grant helps preserve wildlife - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Grant helps preserve wildlife

November 4, 2003

Thomas County - The song of the red-cockaded woodpecker is one Wildlife Biologists feared would not be heard for much longer.

"Until the technique of drilling cavities was developed, most people were very pessimistic because the bird was continuing to decline," says Biologist Jim Cox. "This technology now has enabled us to actually halt the decline and in some cases actually increase the population in areas where it wasn't happening before."

Like in the Red Hills, an area that stretches from Thomasville to Tallahassee. That's where the nation's largest population of the woodpeckers, about 500, exist on private land.

Biologist Phil Spivey says, "We're working here in the Red Hills which contains some of the finest examples of long leaf pine habitat left anywhere in the world. It's an effort to give these landowners an opportunity to manage this landscape in a sustainable way and in a way that can benefit the red cockaded woodpecker, this endangered species."

They're using grant money to create homes for the birds, in order to encourage them to stay. Cox says, "We've been doing a little bit of this work over the last couple years, a few cavities here and there, but this grant will enable us to put a lot of cavities in on the landscape."

And by creating more homes, they hope to conserve this endangered species . The grant will be used by Tall Timbers research center and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

posted at 5:08PM by karen.collier@walb.com

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