Wildlife

A picture of a copperhead snake.
Professor J.D. Willson / Flickr

Spring is here, and animals that have hunkered down through the long, cold winter are finally coming out again, now that it’s warm. That’s certainly true for the venomous snakes that call North Carolina home.

The Tar Heel state has the dubious distinction of leading the nation in the number of copperhead bites per year, with Texas coming in a close second. A few months ago, Jessica Jones had her own close encounter with a copperhead in a friend’s yard.

Campers at the NC Zoo in Asheboro learn to use radio telemetry
NC Zoo

A dozen lucky kids tented overnight on the grounds of the NC Zoo recently. They were taking part in a one-of-a-kind summer camp. Carol Jackson tagged along with a video camera.

Usually when kids camp overnight at a zoo they look closely at the animals and learn from the keepers, or maybe the veterinarians.

black bear
Casey Brown / Flickr/Creative Commons

Early Monday, officials were tracking a bear in the Five Points area of Raleigh. WRAL reported that information about the bear began to come in after midnight.

A mailman working in the area told WRAL News that a couple reported seeing the bear near a home under construction at the corner of Carroll and Whitaker Mill Road.

 

A picture of a baby olinguito.
Juan Rendon / Saving Species

Species are going extinct about 1,000 times faster than they should be because their habitat is being destroyed. That's according to new research led by Duke University.

Conservation Ecology Professor Stuart Pimm said the worse news is that nearly 90 percent of the species are unknown to scientists.

Lake Mattamuskeet Wildlife Refuge

The annual migration of waterfowl to Lake Mattamuskeet is underway in Swan Quarter. Roughly 200,000 birds were counted in the National wildlife refuge this month, continuing a rising trend over years past.  That means visitors to the lake are in for some noise for the next month or so. The  birds have made the refuge their temporary home.   John Stanton with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service said it's a remarkable sound, followed by a remarkable silence:

NH Public Television/Nature Works

Starting this month a group of white tailed deer will be transported from Morrow Mountain State Park onto 56,000 acres of reservation lands of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

It's a project sponsored by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the Cherokee Fisheries and Wildlife Management Program.

The move will help augment the reservation's population of deer which has been declining over the years.

Kyle Van Houtan

Duke researchers have thought up a creative way to fill in missing details about Hawaii's wild fish population: restaurant menus.  

The colorful artifacts that tourists often save as souvenirs are filled with tiki-men, surfers and luau girls. But they also contain valuable information that a trio of scientists used to fill in a 45-year gap in Hawaii's official records during the mid-20th century. 

Brown pelican
Sergey Yeliseev via Flickr, Creative Commons

State wildlife officials are continuing to investigate the deaths and injuries of brown pelicans along the North Carolina coast.  They say more than 200 of the birds have been found. 

Bat with white-nose fungus.
Photo courtesy Ryan von Linden/New York Department of Environmental Conservation

A deadly fungus known as white-nose syndrome has been decimating bat populations in the Eastern United States and is spreading quickly through western portions of North Carolina. It was discovered in upstate New York in 2006. The infection is marked by a white frosting of fungus around the bat's nose, ears, and wings.

Injured pelican
Toni O'Neil

Dead and injured pelicans are washing up on North Carolina shores. Around 20 dead birds were found on North Topsail Beach earlier this month. Many had severely broken wings.

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