Alabama Cougars: Sorting Fact From Fiction

Across the eastern united states, there are frequently reports of cougar sightings in areas where the big cat is thought to no longer exist. Alabama is no different, and wildlife officials regularly receive calls and e-mails about cougars seen in the state. However, there has not been a reliable, verified sighting in Alabama in over 50 years. is there really a population of these big cats roaming the wilderness of Alabama, or is it all just a myth?

Aquatic Furbearers Biology & Management

South Carolina’s furbearers are a diverse group of 14 species that have been or are currently valued for their pelts, which in the past have been used for making clothing or felt. Most people prize the opportunity to observe a mink, fox, beaver, or any other furbearer in the wild, and trappers, hunters, and photographers spend many hours pursuing these elusive creatures.

Backyard Wildlife Enhancement

The first step in enhancing a backyard habitat for wildlife is to assess your yard or outdoor areas as they are right now, identifying habitat elements that already exist for wildlife. Some plants that provide seeds, fruits, and nuts are important to many species of wildlife. A dense shrubbery area or stand of evergreens will provide cover for many animals, and protection from wind and predators.

Bats

People are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of the bats they once persecuted. Increased pesticide use, the loss of roosting and foraging habitat has resulted in the current decline of many bat species. North Carolina supports 16 species of bats, including three federally listed as endangered. This publication provides information about bats, their benefits, and steps to encourage bats on private lands.

Beaver Control in Alabama

In the 1930s, beaver population in Alabama were reduced to about 500 animals as a result of trapping, hunting, and the demand for fur. Stocking of beaver in suitable habitats, low fur prices, and a reduction in trapping presure have resulted in an increased beaver population throughout the Southeast. Today, beaver are plentiful in Alabama and beaver swamps may be seen even in suburban areas of the state.

Black Bear

Black bears are present in the southern Appalachian Mountains and the coastal bays and swamps of North Carolina. The best habitat is provided in old forests dominated by hardwoods containing a variety of mast-producing tree and shrub species. Bears typically require extensive, rugged country with dense thickets, swamps, bays, or rock outcrops, and room to travel widely with little contact with agriculture or livestock production areas. Bears occasionally will cause damage in livestock operations, apple orchards, cornfields or by feeding on the inner bark of some desired tree species.

Cottontail Rabbit

Cottontails live throughout the South from bottomlands and marshes to the highest mountain balds. They thrive in openings wherever shrubs, grasses, and forbs dominate. Cottontails are commonly found in old homesites, abandoned orchards, broom sedge fields, sumac patches, honeysuckle thickets, and brush piles.

Cottontail Rabbit Biology and Management

The cottontail rabbit is one game species familiar to virtually everyone. Its requirements for life are relatively simple and this, coupled with a high reproductive capacity, enables it to hold the title of the most important game animal in North America.

Eastern Gray Squirrel

The gray squirrel thrives in both urban and rural settings. Of the seven species of squirrels native to North Carolina, the gray is the most common.

Endangered Red Wolves

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reintroducing red wolves to prevent extinction of the species and to restore the ecosystems in which red wolves once occurred, as mandated by the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Going Batty??? …What to Do About Bats in Your Belfry

Have you encountered a stray bat flying around in your house? Bats that fly into human living quarters are usually lost youngsters whose primary goal is a safe escape. They often will leave on their own if a window or door to the outside is opened while others leading to the rest of the house are closed.

Gray Squirrel Biology & Management

The gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) has been a part of South Carolina forests for thousands of years. Native Indians and early settlers used the squirrel for food and its fur. In turn, the squirrel raided cornfields and other farm crops during periods of extremely high squirrel populations when thousands of squirrels would leave their normal range and emigrate many miles in search of a new home.

Gray Wolf

Second only to humans in adapting to climate extremes, gray wolves once ranged from coast to coast and from Alaska to Mexico in North America. They were absent from the East and the Southeast, which were occupied by red wolves (Canis rufus), and from the large deserts in the southwestern States. By the early 20th century, government-sponsored predator control programs and declines in prey brought gray wolves to near extinction in the lower 48 States.

Learning to Live with Coyotes in Metropolitan Areas

Coyotes (Canis latrans) are 35-to-40 pound doglike mammals that have entered metropolitan areas of Virginia. Although coyotes may help reduce the numbers of other problematic animals, we must respect their wild nature while learning to co-exist with them.

Managing Beaver Ponds

Once nearly eliminated in North Carolina, beavers have returned to most of the state's watersheds through 50 years of restocking. Although beavers are negatively viewed in some situations due to the flooding and girdling of trees, their presence may ultimately be beneficial. This publication reviews benefits of beavers and methods to manage and enhance beaver ponds.

Raccoon

Raccoons use a wide variety of habitats, but generally prefer areas interspersed with different successional stages of growth. Bottomland hardwoods provide hard mast, insects, and aquatic animal life. Fields and open areas yield fruit, berries, insects, and occasional small mammals and reptiles. Raccoons depend on wetland and aquatic habitats for a large portion of their food and are seldom found far from water.

Terrestrial Furbearer Biology & Management

Terrestrial or upland furbearers are called terrestrial because they require some drinking water but are not associated with water as a general habitat requirement. They include species like the opossum, red or gray fox, coyote, striped or spotted skunk, long-tailed weasel, and bobcat.

White-Tailed Deer

White-tailed deer occupy both forest and non-forest habitat types throughout the South. Deer usually prosper following fire, timber harvest, storms, or other events which produce new vegetative growth.

White-tailed Deer Biology & Management

The flashing of a white, flag-like tail along the edge of a field and into the woods signals the presence of the most popular game animal in the South. Hunting the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginiana) is a form of recreation that is steeped in tradition and tremendously popular.

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