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Friday, March 21, 2008

Know Your Milton: Endangered Species!

The Cherokee Darter:

Their dappled backs help them to blendin with the rocks on the bottom. During the spring and summer spawning season,the darters "color up" adding turquoise blue andbrick red to their everyday attire, going from drab to dressy, as they try to get the attention of the females."Darters get their name because they move around the water in short quick bursts," said Freeman. "They can instantly burrow under the rocks when danger is present, or flit out into the open when they see a female coming along."The male courts a female and then she deposits an egg by attaching it to a rock or a little piece of wood.The Cherokee darter helps reduce the population of those pesky black flies by eating their larvae and midges, while the Etowah darters tend to dine on caddisflies and mayflies. All the while, the darters must avoid being eaten by the bigger sport and game fish.That is about as complicated as a darter's life get --hanging out in the stream, looking for food and a mate and trying not to get eaten by the bigger guys.The Etowah darter, however, is an endangered species and the Cherokee darter is threatened. Although both are listed as protected by the Federal Endangered Species Act, their habitats continue to disappear.Two essential attributes of the underwater world are critical to the darters' survival. The water must be moving and it must be clear. Instead, their streams are being degraded by incompatible agricultural practices,urbanization, sedimentation, just to name a few of the human impacts on the habitat.Because darters communicate by sight alone, clearwater is necessary for their survival. When the water becomes cloudy they cannot find insects for a meal,locate a mate, or avoid a predator."They also need flowing water. To dam up their stream or river would be a death sentence for themand their whole local population," Freeman said.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen these Darter in the creeks and streams in Milton, they are so pretty? or handsome, I suppose? Or is it too late for them?

Anonymous said...

They have been documented in the Etowah, Coosa River Basins of which Chicken Creek, Cooper Sandy, and Little River are tributaries.
They are tiny, but have a purpose in the 'chain'. They eat pesky insect larvae. Read the next article about the NPDES that is supposed to reduce impact on local waterways. How do the proposed Fulton Co. Board of Ed. high school and middle schools on Freemanville Rd--on septic--fit into this schematic? These are your tax dollars. Do you want 2 schools (or anything of this magnitude) on this property along Chicken Creek?

Anonymous said...

The Board of Education doesn't care about these little fish or the water supplies, they just want to build schools for our kids. Why should they care if they pollute the waters that supply the source from our kids drink from or play in, that's not important.

Anonymous said...

Agree, it's more important to build schools wherever no matter what is at stake. The kids must have their schools regardless of the environment and habitat impact. How dare anyone say anything about that. It's for our children. A school for our children is more important then our drinking water supply. Don't they have the power to build schools where ever they want? So why did they pick such a lousy site environmentally? No wonder the BOE Superintendent retired early, before the "stuff" hits the fan?

Anonymous said...

Bye Bye Birdy, oh, woops, meant Fishy.

Anonymous said...

From one Milton who to another.
Make the news not just on your community level but state and national.
Pull in your special interest groups - they can assist you.

Anonymous said...

You people are crazy! You would rather have polluted water and let an important species go extinct, just for a school? That town better not have anywhere else to build that school because that is kinda ridiculous!!