Do you enjoy hearing the melodies of songbirds, watching the antics of wildlife, or photographing delicate wildflowers? As much as these natural resources enrich our lives aesthetically, they also are linked to us ecologically, socially, and economically. Our quality of life is affected by how well we conserve wildlife and the places they call home.
Although Georgia is one of the most biologically diverse states in the nation, 318 species here have such low populations that state or federal laws protect them. Hundreds of other species are of conservation concern as well, mostly due to habitat degradation and destruction.
The task of conserving, enhancing, and promoting our stateВ’s wildlife (including game and nongame animals as well as plants) lies with the Georgia Department of Natural ResourcesВ’ Wildlife Resources Division. After identifying species and habitats most at risk, DNR staff and collaborators explored methods for recovery and restoration. They prioritized 78 actions to address the conservation needs of these species and habitats. From that list, five major conservation themes were identified as crucial for maintaining GeorgiaВ’s biological diversity:
1. Increase the use of prescribed fire for habitat restoration.
2. Improve wetland protection and mitigation banking methods.
3. Provide technical and financial assistance to private landowners to voluntarily apply wildlife conservation methods on their property.
4. Develop a statewide strategy for invasive exotic species assessment and control.
5. Facilitate Georgia Land Conservation Program and other land protection efforts.