As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday 25 November 2018

Nearly 200 ‘species of concern’ call Fort Bragg, Sandhills home

Military editor 

Posted Nov 16, 2018 at 3:57 PMUpdated Nov 16, 2018 at 6:45 PM
For decades, one of the most infamous residents of Fort Bragg has been a tiny bird.
The red-cockaded woodpecker is an endangered species that once threatened to put a halt to training on the nation’s largest military installation.
Some types of training did come to a stop as conservationists worked to save the bird. And in the years since, military officials and the woodpeckers have learned to co-exist.
The result has been a growth in the local woodpecker population and inspiration for Fayetteville’s new minor league baseball team.
Anna Castillo made no mention of the red-cockaded woodpecker during a presentation Thursday of rare and threatened species in the Sandhills.
Castillo, a conservation planner for the North Carolina Sandhills Conservation Partnership, chose instead to focus on other plants and animals that are not as well known.
Speaking to the Regional Land Use Advisory Commission, she warned that military and local officials must work together to save a number of rare species in the region.
“There’s tons of information on the woodpecker,” Castillo told members of RLUAC, which is a group of municipal and military leaders and conservationists who aim to work together to address land use around Fort Bragg. “The goal here is to prevent other species from becoming endangered.”
During the meeting, Castillo presented information on a database that has compiled nearly 200 species of plant, fish and other wildlife of concern in the Sandhills. The database is built, in part, to help officials better manage habitat where these species live, thus protecting their future.
Species of concern have no legal protections, Castillo said. But they could eventually become endangered if the destruction of their habitat is left unchecked.
Castillo introduced officials to the Sandhills pyxie-moss, which is found only in the Carolinas, and Boykin’s lobelia, a wetlands plant that produces small white and blue flowers.
She also spoke of two species of “significantly rare” butterflies — the dusky roadside skipper and the frosted elfin — “They’re beautiful,” Castillo said — and a small fish known as the pinewoods darter.
“The Sandhills area is a biodiversity hot spot,” she said. “It is really a unique place.”

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