BioBlitz in Macon County

On May 25th, fourth graders from South Macon Elementary School in Macon County, North Carolina, went beyond the playground to tally species right in their own school grounds. The BioBlitz was organized by Jason Love, site manager for the Coweeta Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, and Jennifer Love, Macon County STEM coordinator, with help…  More 

Celebrating Pollinator Week 2017

On June 22, 2017, a handful of people braved the rain at the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station to celebrate National Pollinator Week. National Pollinator Week was designated by a unanimous U.S. Senate resolution in 2007. The week recognizes pollinators and their importance to natural ecosystems and agriculture. Some pollinator species have drastically declined.…  More 

Giant Stag Beetles

Up to 30 percent of all forest insect species depend on wood that is dead or dying. “Such species are among the most threatened insects in Europe,” says U.S. Forest Service scientist Michael Ulyshen. “However, very little is known about their diversity or conservation status in North America.” In the U.S., the giant stag beetle…  More 

Protecting White-Tailed Deer Fawns

Wild animals are often immersed in a mortal struggle. For white-tailed deer fawns, the struggle entails hiding from predators like coyotes. “Fawns are highly vulnerable to coyote predation,” says John Kilgo. Kilgo is a research wildlife biologist at the U.S. Forest Service, and he recently coauthored a study about coyotes, fawns, and land cover. Coyotes…  More 

Bumblebees and Blueberries

Flowering plants and pollinators depend on each other. It’s a global truism, and it’s true on a 440 acre blueberry farm in northern Florida. “Bumblebees are extremely efficient pollinators,” says U.S. Forest Service research ecologist Joseph O’Brien. “In the time it takes a honeybee to pollinate a single blueberry flower, a bumblebee can pollinate as…  More 

Hoary Bats Hibernate

Hoary bats are wanderers – they sometimes migrate hundreds of miles and can be found in almost every state in the U.S. Researchers with the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station documented hoary bats going into a state of torpor, or hibernation. While it’s not unusual for some species of bat to migrate or…  More 

Home is a Pine Tree

Every summer, female Indiana bats fly through southern Appalachian forests looking for a place to rear their pups. A new study, coauthored by U.S. Forest Service research ecologist, Susan Loeb, suggests that the bats are looking for yellow pine snags. Although Indiana bats sometimes roosted in other trees, they strongly preferred yellow pine snags, especially…  More 

Bats Adapt to Disturbed Habitat

Rafinesque’s big-eared bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii) is considered a rare and sensitive species. The bats are small, with a body length of three to four inches, ears just over one inch, a wingspan just shy of a foot, and they weigh around half an ounce — less than a slice of bread. Though their range includes much of…  More 

In South Carolina, Coyotes Not a Threat to Adult Deer

In parts of the northeastern U.S., white-tailed deer populations have ballooned. Not so in parts of the southeastern U.S., such as South Carolina, where the statewide deer population has been declining for about 12 years. “In the Southeast, coyotes often prey on white-tailed deer fawns,” says U.S. Forest Service research wildlife biologist John Kilgo. “There…  More 

Freshwater Mussels in Kentucky

Kentucky, with its diverse natural environment, supports at least 100 native freshwater mussel species and subspecies. This number represents one-third of North American mussel diversity, and Kentucky, along with other southeastern states, supports the most diverse mussel fauna of any region on Earth. Unfortunately, this fauna is greatly diminished by human activities: about 12 mussel…  More