Wild Georgia

It was a superb Spring day in the mountains of west Georgia, with bluebird skies and a light breeze through the longleaf pines, when a helicopter rained fire from the sky.

Edith Carson-Supino, NOAA Fisheries

For years, the deepening of the harbor in Savannah has been one of the most eagerly awaited boosts to Georgia’s economy. With a deeper harbor comes more goods to move across the country.

But a deeper harbor will also make life harder for the endangered Atlantic Sturgeon and its smaller cousin, the Short-Nose Sturgeon.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

GPB’s Wild Georgia series wraps up Monday.  Our journalists have been out hiking, climbing, boating -- and reporting.  They’ve been bringing you stories about the natural beauty of the state.

Two of them stopped by On Second Thought to expand upon their findings.  Grant Blankenship explained the results of the biggest study ever of Southern coyotes.  He learned the animals have changed since migrating South, and they’re changing the food chain here also. Sophia Saliby hiked three mountains for her story and learned why they’re not just mountains.  They’re monadnocks.

For more than a century, working forests have provided economic and environmental stability – and a myriad of benefits – to our state and its citizens.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Georgia has a lot of official state “things” – such as the brown thrasher as the state bird, the Cherokee Rose as the state flower and even grits as the state’s prepared food.

Some lawmakers, conservationists and fishermen want to add another “thing” to the list: the shoal bass. 

They say raising awareness of this fish in the Flint and other rivers could benefit the environment and the rural economy.


Grant Blankenship / GPB

It’s springtime in Georgia. The weather is warming, gardens are blooming and animals, well, they’re having babies. Lots and lots of babies. Sometimes, those babies need help.

“It’s going to be non-stop this month,” wildlife rehabilitator Kim Wright said. She lives in the city of Byron.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

It's taken about a hundred years for coyotes to move in and fully saturate every corner of the South. As coyotes settled in, they began putting predator pressure on the still-growing white-tailed deer population that it hasn't experienced in a long, long time.

Now, a new analysis of the of coyotes caught and released in the largest study of coyotes in the South suggests that as they change the ecology of deer in the region, deer are in turn changing coyotes.

Emily Jones / GPB News

From the mountains to the coast to the forest, Georgia is a beautiful place for spending time outdoors.  GPB journalists are celebrating that splendor with Wild Georgia, a series of in-depth reports airing this month during Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Ross Terrell and Emily Jones are among those working on the series, and they stopped by On Second Thought to take their stories a little deeper.  Ross talked about Atlanta’s lush tree canopy, and Emily explained how sharks sense the world around them.

GPB Education

Take a journey throughout the state of Georgia with the Regions of Georgia virtual field trip from GPB Education. You can see the five physiographic regions as well as their characteristics and economic importance.

We're sharing this content as part of our Wild Georgia series.

Hikers on Panola Mountain
Sophia Saliby / GPB News

Walking up Stone Mountain, it’s hard not to notice people.

They’re mostly hiking, but humans have quarried the mountain, carved into it and completely changed the landscape over the past few centuries.

But there are two other large mountains in the Metro Atlanta area, and they offer a glimpse at what Stone Mountain might have looked like without the same heavy human impact.

Emily Jones / GPB News

The movie “Jaws” famously shows us a shark’s eye view of swimmers in the water, their legs kicking while the shark prepares to attack.


We know that sharks don’t really go after people like the movie’s monster great white. But we still have a lot to learn about how they detect their prey. A researcher at Georgia Southern University is trying to change that.


It turns out, understanding sharks’ senses could help people make a living on the water.

GPB Education

We're sharing stories from our colleagues at GPB Education throughout the week as part of our Wild Georgia series.

Now, visit the Okefenoke Swamp with GPB Education. 

Sean Powers / GPB News

Birdwatching doesn't require a trip deep into unpopulated forests. There's a wealth of sights and songs even in Georgia's largest city. 

Ross Terrell / Georgia Public Broadcasting

Atlanta’s nicknames cover a variety of unique things about the city, like Empire of the South, the Black Mecca, more notably in music, A-Town. But there’s another one it’s fighting to keep, “City in a Forest.” 

If you’ve ever flown over Atlanta, you’ve probably noticed it looks different than other major cities. Its 47% tree cover is the highest among them. That’s More than Charlotte, Minneapolis, Denver and Los Angeles.  

GPB Education

There's so much to learn about the natural world in Georgia. That's why we're sharing stories from our colleagues at GPB Education throughout the week with our Wild Georgia series.

Explore Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary in this 30-minute virtual field trip from GPB Education. This event was live streamed on May 10, 2017, from the University of Georgia's Marine Education Center and Aquarium in Savannah.