wildlife

On Nov. 12, 2018, A bald eagle tilts its head while peering down from a branch at the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area in Juneau, Alaska.
Becky Bohrer / AP

The Trump administration is finalizing major changes Monday to the way it enforces the landmark Endangered Species Act, a move it says will reduce regulatory burden but critics charge will drive more creatures to extinction.

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.

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.


Hank Ohme, courtesy of Georgia Wildlife Federation

Georgia deer hunters are helping to feed families in need.

The Georgia Wildlife Federation’s Hunters for the Hungry program contracts with meat processors throughout the state to process deer meat at a discount. Hunters deliver deer to the processors, who pack and distribute venison to food banks across the state.


Grant Blankenship / GPB

Not too long ago, biologists with Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources didn’t know bats in the state were using bridges for roosts.

Caves in North Georgia? Yes. Hollowed out trees down south? Sure. But only recently did they learn that bats were using manmade highway bridges in Georgia the same way you may have seen them in famous places like the Congress Street Bridge in Austin, Texas.


Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

 

Three years ago, a coyote with ice blue eyes lay stock still as scientists took her blood, weighed her, and fixed a GPS collar around her neck on a dirt road next to a field near Augusta.

 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Imagine a man going from 170 to 255 pounds before your next big trip. Ruby-throated hummingbirds fight for the chance to do just that near the end of every summer. What does that sound like? Listen here to find out. 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

 

The numbers are in after four months of a six month experiment in promoting coyote hunting in Georgia. The results are mixed.

 

Trappers have turned in 176 coyotes to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources since March in what DNR is calling the Coyote Challenge. Jennifer Wisniewski, communications manager for the DNR Wildlife Resources Division, says that may sound like a lot until you consider what deer hunters do every fall.

 

President Obama has indefinitely blocked offshore drilling in areas of the Atlantic Ocean and in Arctic waters, a move aimed at advancing environmental protection during his final days in office.

The Arctic protections are a joint partnership with Canada. "These actions, and Canada's parallel actions, protect a sensitive and unique ecosystem that is unlike any other region on earth," the White House said in a statement.

Grant Blankenship / Telegraph of Macon

There are probably twice as many bears in the center of Georgia as researchers previously thought.

The new number, somewhere between 412 and 458, is based on a new analysis of data collected in a University of Georgia study between 2012 and 2015. That means the ten bears killed in the annual one day Middle Georgia bear season, five females and five males, were more like two percent of the overall population rather than the five percent a similar kill total suggested in 2015. 

Grant Blankenship / GPB

 

 

A new report paints a bleak picture for North Georgia bats and scientists say they know why.

Blame White-Nose Syndrome. A summation of last year’s bat count numbers by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources makes that plain. DNR scientists have been counting each winter in ten different North Georgia cave sites since White-Nose Syndrome hit Georgia in 2013. After last year’s count they say cave hibernating populations have plummeted by 92 percent of their before White-Nose numbers.

Save The Bats, Save The Agriculture

Mar 9, 2016
commons.wikipedia.org

Bats may give us some of us the creeps, but their usefulness in the field of agriculture is undeniable. Bats can save farmers billions by merely eating their fill of crop insects. But the dangerous fungus known as "white-nose syndrome" continues to infect caves and kill bats, with some estimates saying that nearly 95 percent of the population is in danger.

We talk to Georgia State University microbiologist Chris Cornelison and wildlife pathologist Heather Fenton about the severity of the fungus and what’s being done to combat it.