Articles in regional publications that pertain to a wide range of North Carolina-related topics.
for Wildlife in North Carolina Vol. 64 Issue 2, Feb 2000
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The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission purchased the 547-acre Horse Creek Longleaf Pine Forest in Moore County recently to add to its Sandhills Game Land. The purchase not only protects the longleaf pine, but also provides a habitat for red-cockaded woodpeckers. Only 3 percent of the original 90 million acres of longleaf pine that covered the Southeast remains today. The longleaf is a favored tree of the woodpeckers, which nest in tree cavities.
The diamondback turtle has survived for thousands of years, but the 19th- and 20th centuries challenged its existence. In the 19th-century, over-harvesting depleted fisheries to satisfy gourmet tastes for turtle meat. In the 20th-century, lost crab pots entrap and kill the turtles, while sprawling coastal development destroys its habitat. It is this loss of habitat that threatens the diamondback most in the 21st-century.
How much is a fishing season worth to local economies? A survey requested by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission revealed that during the 1998 Roanoke River striped bass season anglers spent about $918,000. The season lasts 75 days. Local economies benefited through money spent on lodging, food, gas, and bait. Eighteen hundred questionnaires were distributed to fishermen, of which six hundred were returned.
Native Americans and early colonists knew winter was ending when American shad arrived in Eastern Carolina rivers. However, this once plentiful fish has all but disappeared from the Roanoke River. Dams for flood control and electricity keep shad from going far up river to spawn. Water pollution could also be a problem with industries and municipalities discharging into the river. Biologists are seeking the solution that will return the shad to the Roanoke River in the twenty-first century.
The North Carolina Botanical Garden named the eastern aromatic aster North Carolina Wildflower of the Year for 2000. This uncommon plant grows in only two western counties and blooms in early October. The wildflower program is in its 19th year.