Plant Conservation Research

Wildlife Health Center

Among the reasons that Bon Secour was set aside as a refuge was the desire to preserve the endangered Alabama beach mouse, a native of the dunes and to protect the habitat of a variety of sea turtles. In fact the words "Bon Secour" mean "Safe Harbor" and certainly that is what this area has now become for the plant and wild life that peacefully abide here. But as is so often the case with the formation of a refuge, there is great benefit to mankind as well. The existence of the refuge has meant the preservation of a large span of undeveloped coastal property that will allow visitors from now into perpetuity to see what the Gulf Coast had once looked like before development. Visiting National Wildlife Refuges in Alabama is a trip into nature but also through history. According to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife service the river supports 64 "rare and imperiled" species of both plants and wildlife. It is not surprising that a section of the river was selected out to be preserved as a national wildlife refuge. What is surprising is that Cahaba River was not designated as a refuge until 2002 making it one of the newest members of the national refuge system. Perhaps even more interesting is the great variety of fish that are found in the waters of the Cahaba River.

Plant Conservation Day 2010

Illinois had 249 aquatic and terrestrial wildlife species classified as wildlife species of greatest conservation need (GCN). Of these 249 GCN species, 29 are mussels, 80 are fishes, 14 are amphibians, 23 are reptiles, 83 are birds and 20 are mammals. Problems or threats to the GCN species populations in Illinois are commercial and industrial development, landfill construction or operation, dams, road construction, urban development, water diversion, municipal and industrial point source, commercial harvest, conversion of riparian forests, excessive non-commercial harvest or collection, channel maintenance and confined animal operations. Other problems or threats to GCN species are crop production practices, excessive groundwater withdrawal, fire suppression, management of or for certain species, channel alteration, exotic species, parasites, pathogens, recreation, grazing, predation, forestry activities and resource extraction. The Illinois Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy has addressed these problems or threats to the GCN species population with conservation actions. These actions include decreasing the data gap by gathering more information on GCN species, by fire management with controlled burned, with habitat protection by initiating projects to protect existing habitat or habitat components, with habitat restoration and improvement by initiating projects to restore or enhance existing habitats, with land acquisition by purchasing land or conservation easement that is important to GCN species, with population management by directly manipulating GCN species population by restocking, translocation an harvest management, with public relations and education by increasing public awareness of GCN species and key habitats through education and public outreach, with threat abatement by mitigating existing threats including pollution, predation an competing species and with other conservation action plans that have not been covered previously. Monitoring the CWCS in Indiana will begin with the employment of existing inventories and surveys, which includes any monitoring done by conservation partners. Monitoring will continue with surveys, remote sensing, satellite imagery, disease and movement monitoring, breeding site survey sampling, DNA and net sampling, herpetological web site, predictive modeling, ground truthing and taxonomic affinities an reclassification. Population, habitat and project-level monitoring are also included in the Indiana CWCS as well as distribution information, length frequency distributions; community-level monitoring and replication. These performance measures provide information that pertains to conservation actions and provide for revisions to these actions if needed. The conservation action and proposed plans for GCN species and habitat monitoring occurs with help from several partners.