Articles in regional publications that pertain to a wide range of North Carolina-related topics.
for Wildlife in North Carolina Vol. 80 Issue 3, May/June 2016
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Researchers track golden-winged warblers from Western North Carolina to Central America to better understand this disappearing species. Research findings from the study shows that the loss in population is due to the disappearance of shrubby habitats. The loss in the Appalachian region is in part due to the conversion of agricultural lands to residential areas, changes in grazing practices to favor higher cattle densities, and land use for Christmas tree production.
In 1934, Herbert Brimley examined remains of a whale shark found in Carolina Beach, North Carolina. Despite an increase of knowledge since that discovery, still not much is known about whale sharks. Scientists do not know where whale sharks give birth, or how many are in the ocean, or even how long they live.
Cavity-building woodpeckers create habitats for a diverse species within the woodlands of North Carolina. The presence of woodpeckers in the forest changes everything and are classified as keystone species. This label is given to species who have a significant and far-reaching effect on the dynamics of ecosystems.
Whale sharks are occasional visitors to the coast of North Carolina, especially when warmer-than-average water travels up from the south. In 1934, a whale shark larger than 40 feet long was found dead in the Cape Fear River; Herbert Hutchinson Brimley, affiliate of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, was able to record the tail and create part of an exhibition. Since then, the whale shark has become a much more active part of the North Carolina ecosystem.
The golden-winged warbler, native species to North Carolina, has been on the decline since the 1960’s. Little was known about the species until approximately 10 years ago, when different wildlife organizations came together to track their nesting and habitat areas. Recently, migration patterns have been incorporated into the research parameters, and collaboration between several South American researchers has been key.
The woodpecker is the only animal that has the ability to carve out a habitat with its own natural features. The Red-cockaded woodpecker, the Northern flicker, and the pileated woodpecker, just a few of the native species to North Carolina, carve out habitats that can then be used by other species in the area.