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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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