Today, sixth graders from Gulfport Central Middle School worked with staff of The Nature Conservancy to help improve habitat for the endangered gopher frog.
Working at the Old Fort Bayou Mitigation Bank property in Jackson County that is managed by the Conservancy, the students helped to clear overgrown underbrush, creating habitat more suitable for gopher frogs. The frogs require a relatively open area around the pond where they live, and removing overgrown shrubs and small trees leaves more space for lower-growing grasses.
The Dusky Gopher Frog (Lithobates sevosus) once lived in areas from south Alabama into southeastern Louisiana, but their population is now limited to two naturally occurring populations in southern Mississippi and includes approximately 100 adult frogs.
The students' work to improve southern Mississippi also includes planting longleaf pine seedlings and encouraging Gulfport residents to commit to using energy-efficient light bulbs.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.