Some areas that have been extensively surveyed reveal an array of rare inhabitants. One such place is Tallulah Gorge State Park in northeast Georgia. The 1,000-foot-deep gorge is a haven for many imperiled plants such as the persistent trillium and fringed orchid as well as for animals such as the green salamander and tricolored bat.
Those rarities were what drew Sean O’Brien, president of the organization NatureServe, there last week as part of a national tour. Based in Arlington, Virginia, NatureServe has been for nearly 50 years the authoritative source for biodiversity data in the Western Hemisphere. The group helps DNR and other conservationists nationwide store and organize vast amounts of rare species data that is invaluable in helping make decisions on species protection.
IN THE SKY: From David Dundee, Tellus Science Museum astronomer: The Aquariid meteor shower will peak on Wednesday and Thursday nights at about 60 meteors per hour. Best viewing: in the northeast sky from about 1 a.m. until dawn. The moon will be last quarter on Monday. Mercury and Venus are very low in the west just after dark. Mars is very low in the southwest at dark and sets in the west a few hours later. Jupiter and Saturn rise in the east at about midnight.
Charles Seabrook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.