With the population of endangered wildlife declining and the country experiencing a decline in white-tailed deer, the Georgia Wildlife Fund is stepping up its efforts to help the state’s wildlife.
In a recent press release, the organization announced a two-year partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create a list of “second chance wildlife” that would be offered for volunteers to volunteer with in the wild.
The effort was part of the agency’s effort to “enhance the conservation and management of endangered species and to develop a second chance resource,” the release said.
“We’re trying to make sure we’re doing what’s best for wildlife,” said Jeff Ritter, the coordinator of Georgia’s Wildlife Program.
“They need a second opportunity to be with people that can care for them,” Ritter said.
The new list will be a supplement to the state Department of Natural Resources’ Species Survival Plan and includes only species that are at high risk of extinction.
Georgia has an estimated 1,000 white-tail deer, which are native to the United States.
The state is on track to lose an estimated 200 of them by the end of 2021, according to a recent analysis by the Georgia Department of Conservation.
The agency said the majority of the deer are in Georgia.
Georgia is also the state with the largest number of white-tails in the U: 4,200.
“These are very endangered animals and we’re trying our best to make a difference,” Ratter said.
A state conservation group that works to protect and manage threatened and endangered species, the GDFW, has launched a website, Wildlife in Need, that offers a list for volunteers.
Ritter said they’re also working with other state agencies and organizations, including the Georgia Conservation Society and the Georgia Museum of Natural History.
The Georgia Department is in the process of making a list available to the public, he said.
To help, volunteers can sign up online for a one-day training and be matched with a volunteer who is willing to give up their time for the group.
Ritter expects the list will reach 20 to 30 volunteers.