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Nature Conservancy Buys Land To Rebuild Woodpecker Habitat

The Nature Conservancy has acquired a 459-acre stretch of property in Pender County that will help expand habitat for the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. The U.S. Navy covered half the purchase price in order to create a buffer for nearby Camp LeJeune.

Debbie Crane is the communications director for the state chapter of the Nature Conservancy. She says the property is the perfect place for longleaf pine, which the woodpeckers love. But what has endangered the birds is the destruction of so many longleaf pine groves.

"Because they are pretty specific about where they wanna live- they really only like to live in mature, old, longleaf pine, that's where they wanna live. So when you take out all the longleaf pine, you take out all the red cockaded woodpeckers, and so that's really why they're federally endangered, and that's why we're working so hard to restore longleaf pine, is to bring them back," says Crane.

Crane says a program of controlled burns will help restore longleaf pines, as well as native Venus flytraps and pitcher plants.

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Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.
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