Wood Storks Down-Listed from Endangered to Threatened

There is some good news on the conservation front this morning.  Yesterday, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that Wood Storks, Mycteria americana, listed as “endangered” since 1984, have improved to “threatened,” largely due to three decades of conservation efforts.

The down-listing of the wood stork from endangered to threatened demonstrates how the Endangered Species Act can be an effective tool to protect and recover imperiled wildlife from the brink of extinction, especially when we work in partnership with states, tribes, conservation groups, private landowners, and other stakeholders to restore vital habitat,” Secretary Jewell said. “From the cypress swamps of Georgia, to the inland waterways of Florida, wetlands and their wildlife are emblematic of the American Southeast. 

Wood storks are a common sight on Dewees Island, and I’ll admit I find them fascinating.  On the ground and close up, their wrinkly leathered necks and heads seem inappropriately stuck on a mound of black and white feathers. Like some primeval pterodactyl, they take off and land with feet outstretched and wings arched. Aloft, they are graceful, soaring on the thermals, legs thrust back, with the black tips of their wings stark against the sky.  They seem to lurk in family groups along the berm and in the treetops, or forage in groups in the impoundment.  We probably don’t have enough fresh water to support a nesting colony, but they do nest nearby in swamps like the Francis Beidler Forest. Here are a few shots…



This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Rebecca E

    Breathtaking photos.
    Go wood storks!
    I too find them compelling and strangely beautiful.

  2. Donia Dewees

    I find the birds you are writing about are also here in Florida & even stole a bag of Turkey hot dogs from me here at Gatorland I was feeding the Gators there! Yes, I am a Dewees & plan on visiting there next year!

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