On Second Thought For Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Mar 14, 2017

It’s nearly spring. That means plants will begin to peek out of the soil again, insects return in force, and you might start to see more critters wandering around. On this show, we focus on Georgia’s wildlife from the bushy tailed variety that climb our trees, to the ancient shelled kind that swim off our shores.

Jamie Allen is a fiction writer living in Atlanta with an unusual hobby. In 2012, he assembled a team of experts (veterinarians, researchers, and staff from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) to try and figure out just how many squirrels were living in Inman Park. Allen and his team are back this year to do a new “squirrel census” and they’ve expanded to other parts of the city. We talked to Allen and his “field commander” Josh O’Connor.

The rhythmic songs of birds and frogs have inspired modern music compositions. Producer Sean Powers joined some birdwatchers to learn about the variety of chirps, tweets and calls among Georgia’s bird populations.

How smart are animals? Humans may not be smart enough to know. That’s conclusion of primatologist Frans de Waal. He says humans tend to observe animal behavior with their own exceptionalism in mind. He bridges the dividing line between humans and animals in his new book "Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?" We talked with de Waal about his research into the breadth of animal intelligence.

Researchers at the University of Georgia are using genetic tags to identify and track sea turtles. They’ve developed a way to get a DNA “fingerprint” for each of the creatures. Joe Narin, a conservation genetics professor at UGA, joined us to talk about this experiment and what they hope to learn from it.

Atlanta has been named one of the most wildlife-friendly cities in the country. What creatures and critters helped the city earn this honor? We talked with wildlife expert Na’taki Osbourne Jelks about Atlanta's ranking.