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CoastLine: In The Wild Coastal Plain with Andy Wood, the red-cockaded woodpecker, and longleaf pine

red-cockaded woodpecker on a longleaf pine trunk
NC Wildlife Resources Commission
red-cockaded woodpecker on a longleaf pine trunk

As natural areas disappear, we’re taking a closer look at what we’re losing, species by species, in a new CoastLine series called In The Wild Coastal Plain.  On this edition of CoastLine, we explore why the intertwined fates of the red-cockaded woodpecker and longleaf pine are important harbingers of the area's fate. 

As the population swells in southeastern North Carolina, and developers make room for more buildings – homes, apartments, stores – we’re witnessing the rapid destruction of natural areas.

There’s no question that people need places to live, shop, work, and recreate. But in the face of study after study warning about the disappearance of species after species, can we ask better questions about conservation potential?

As trees vanish and human-created habitat expands, are we witnessing a catastrophic failure of imagination? Can we do better? And what would that look like?

As we’ll hear in this episode, human survival depends upon the survival of other species. My guest describes himself as an environmentalist because he is a humanist.

It’s the second installment of In The Wild Coastal Plain, a new series in which we meet a plant or animal and learn about it: how it lives, what it eats, and what we know of its role in the ecosystem.

Our guide In The Wild Coastal Plain is Andy Wood. His popular commentaries on local wildlife aired on WHQR starting 1987. He’s compiled the most memorable pieces into a book entitled Backyard Carolina:  Two Decades of Public Radio Commentary.

He now directs the Coastal Plain Conservation Group, a nonprofit dedicated to just that: conserving what’s left of the coastal plain in southeastern North Carolina.

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 4 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.