Pine forests were once common in this part of the world -- from New Jersey to Florida and west to Texas. It was a rich environment for a small and smart little woodpecker that is now endangered.
When settlers first arrived in what is now the American southeast, they found 90 million acres of mature pines – the perfect material for home and ship construction – and something that had to come down so the newcomers could farm. Today, only 3% of that ecosystem remains.
The Festival of the Photograph is underway in Charlottesville with a preview of one of the most dramatic projects undertaken by National Geographic. Three residents of Albemarle County spent 18 months recording the lives of lions in the Serengeti and came within inches of the big cats and made surprising discoveries.
Millions of birds passed through Virginia this spring, and the National Wildlife Federation says many are in trouble, in part because of climate change. A warming planet is drying up wetlands, causing more storms and producing less food. Sandy Hausman traveled to the Eastern Shore to report on one species -- the rust- colored sandpipers known as red knots. Each year, they fly about 10,000 miles – from the tip of South America to their nesting grounds in the Arctic – stopping in Virginia to refuel.
One of the most contentious issues the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has faced in recent years, is regulation of an activity known as ‘Fox Hound Training.”
Opponents call it “Fox Penning” and consider it a cruel practice for the animals involved. Supporters say their dogs are being trained to hunt under controlled conditions aimed at protecting all the animals involved. The DGIF board will vote Thursday on new safety requirements proposed at its meeting in March.