Wikimedia Commons / From Riverside Natural History, by permission of Houghton, Mifflin & Co.

Cumberland Island is 14 miles of beaches, forests and marshes. Ecologist Carol Ruckdeschel has lived among the plants and animals there for 45 years. Her observations are presented in a recently published book: “A Natural History of Cumberland Island Georgia.”

If you live north of Macon, Columbus or Augusta and you think you’ve been seeing more gnats this year, you could be right. Even so, Jeff Burne says it could be worse.

“I've been some places in the tropics where I literally had to wear a respirator because they'd clog up your nose,” he said during a recent interview in his office.

“That’s a lot of gnats.”


Grant Blankenship / GPB



A new report paints a bleak picture for North Georgia bats and scientists say they know why.

Blame White-Nose Syndrome. A summation of last year’s bat count numbers by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources makes that plain. DNR scientists have been counting each winter in ten different North Georgia cave sites since White-Nose Syndrome hit Georgia in 2013. After last year’s count they say cave hibernating populations have plummeted by 92 percent of their before White-Nose numbers.