By News Staff |
Posted: Fri 2:46 PM, Mar 22, 2019
RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries says a federally-endangered species have moved into a wildlife management area in Sussex County.
For the first time, the red-cockaded woodpecker has been documented in the Big Woods Wildlife Management Area.
The pair of birds are banded and came from the Nature Conservancy's Piney Grove Preserve, which abuts the management area.
According to a release, the preserve has long been the home of the only remaining population of the birds in Virginia, though DGIF reports a second population is in the process of being re-established in the Great Dismal National Wildlife Refuge by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the DGIF and other partners.
“The long-term commitment of our agency and its partners to acquire and actively manage the Big Woods WMA for red-cockaded woodpeckers and many other species is tremendous,” said DGIF Executive Director Bob Duncan. “The arrival of these red-cockaded woodpeckers at the WMA marks a major landmark in DGIF's conservation efforts for this endangered species. Under the federal Endangered Species Act, the DGIF has a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to serve as the lead agency for the conservation of protected animal species in Virginia, including red-cockaded woodpeckers.”