NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has released its new Watchable Wildlife Web site, which was developed in partnership with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation. The address for the Web site is www.tnwatchablewildlife.org
The new Web site features a wide range of information on wildlife and wildlife watching. The site was officially launched on Jan. 12.
“Tennessee Watchable Wildlife’s website is a valuable educational resource for teachers to use in engaging students when learning about the wildlife within their community,” said Marsha White, a second grade teacher at Fairview Elementary School. “Teachers from the elementary level through the collegiate level can use the site to facilitate learning.”
The Web site has information on the birds of Tennessee where the user can easily search the birds of Tennessee by habitat, color, use of backyards or feeders, among other search options. In addition, users will be able to read about the birds of Tennessee, see pictures, hear songs and calls, and find places to see them. Descriptions of more than 165 places to watch wildlife in Tennessee have been developed with information about the site, habitat, wildlife to observe, and detailed directions where the user can employ Google maps, and more.
“One main feature of the Web page will be an extensive review of the birds of Tennessee,” said Scott Somershoe, TWRA State Ornithologist. “The page will have species accounts with information on each bird with features such as many photos for identification, songs to listen to, population status information, and where the best places are to see your favorite bird in Tennessee.”
Viewers will be able to find out about the Watchable Wildlife Endowment Fund, which was established by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1994, and is funded almost exclusively through sales of the Watchable Wildlife specialty license plate, otherwise known as the “Bluebird” license plate. The Watchable Wildlife tag is the only specialty license plate in Tennessee dedicated solely to the conservation of nongame and endangered wildlife. In 2009, in the 15th year of production, Tennesseans purchased the 200,000th bluebird license plate, building the Watchable Wildlife Endowment Fund’s value to $5.3 million. The accumulated interest in the fund has now totaled more than $1 million, and has been used to fund the conservation of Tennessee’s rare and endangered wildlife through research and monitoring, establishing wildlife viewing sites across the state, strategic land purchases, supporting wildlife festivals, and many other projects.
TWRA has established an additional way to contribute directly to bird and other watchable wildlife conservation in Tennessee. Interested persons can now use a credit card to contribute directly to the Watchable Wildlife Endowment Fund and can receive a free gift for the donation.
The Web site will be regularly updated with timely information on wildlife activities happening across the state, new places to watch wildlife, information on animal groups other than birds, and the addition of new features. A blog will be updated regularly with the aforementioned updates and interesting wildlife news stories. Users can follow the blog by subscribing to the RSS feed. Updates can also be followed on Facebook and NING.com, by searching Tennessee’s Watchable Wildlife.