The red-cockaded woodpecker is not actually red – except for a tiny, nearly invisible red streak on male birds at the upper border of their cheek. They’re mostly black and white. And they were one of the first federally-protected species – landing on the Endangered Species list in 1970 – three years after officials created the first list in 1967. (The Endangered Species Act had to wait until 1973.)
Red-cockaded woodpeckers are still on that list more than half a century later.
In North Carolina, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service identifies 22 species as Threatened, 44 as Endangered, and 52 as At-Risk. Loggerhead and Green Sea Turtles are protected – along with varieties of plant such as Blue Ridge Goldenrod. The Green Pitcher Plant and the Hawksbill Sea Turtle show up on the Endangered list, and the Magnificent Ramshorn Snail – a small mollusk – despite its grand name and whom we met on this program nearly a year ago – is considered at-risk.
On this edition, we find out how biologists are helping some of these creatures to flourish and how researchers are exploring new ways to expand environmental literacy.
Craig Ten Brink, Wildlife Biologist specializing in threatened and endangered species, Camp Lejeune
Troy Frensley, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of North Carolina Wilmington