Before we get started, where in the world is Georgia? Do you know? Georgia is in the Southeastern part of the United States, on the continent of North America. There it is! Georgia itself is divided into different habitats. Each habitat is different from the others in their own special ways. The northern-most part of Georgia is called the Mountain Region. The central part of Georgia is called the Piedmont Region. The southern-most part of Georgia is called the Coastal Plain Region. Within the Coastal Plains of Georgia are patches of an habitat known as the Swamps and Marshes and wetlands Georgia borders the Atlantic Ocean Are you ready to find out what makes each region special? Do you want to know what kinds of plants and animals might be found in each? Let’s start in Georgia’s Mountain habitat! Have you ever been to the mountains? Let’s take a little field trip, shall we? The Georgia Mountains… The Georgia Mountains… •The elevation is higher, and it’s shaded by trees. These things make the temperature cooler. •The terrain also makes it harder to get around. Some people live in the mountains, but it’s not highly populated. Can you think of some In the mountains, you might see….. beautiful waterfalls. This is Amicola Falls in the North In the mountains, you might see….. really tall trees like the Tulip Poplar and the Hemlock. You might also see some cool animals that call the Georgia Mountains their home. Let’s see what we can find! Mudpuppies and American Toads are two amphibians which live in this habitat. Both need to live by mountain streams, but they love to hang out in the woods! Box Turtles and Copperhead Snakes are two reptiles which live in this mountain habitat. Can you think of a reason why these two would be perfectly at home in the woods? Lots of animals love to be high in the trees of the Georgia Mountains! Can you name these three? Black Bears, Mountain Lions, and Coyotes are major predators in the mountains! They’re so furry! Why?? The Black Vulture is a scavenger that keeps this habitat clean- they have an important job here! Sadly, they were almost wiped out due to DDT- it made their eggs too soft to hatch. Now they are on the Hop back on the bus! It’s time to leave the Mountain Habitat! We’re heading south to the Piedmont Habitat of Georgia! Let’s go! The Piedmont Habitat… The Piedmont Habitat… •It’s farther south, so the temperature is warmer than in the mountains. •The land consists of rolling hills, lakes, and rivers. •Atlanta is in the Piedmont, In the Piedmont, you might see….. lots of tall buildings and twisting highways. Hey… what’s that building with the gold dome? In the Piedmont, you might see….. Dogwood, Sweet Gum, and Hickory Trees! Let’s see what animals we can find here! No hiking boots needed this time! We could use a canoe though! Let’s check out the lakes and rivers first! Near the Chattahoochee River and Lake Lanier, we might find some interesting critters! Water makes a great habitat! Snapping Turtles and River Otters thrive in the Piedmont Region. Can you think of some reasons why these two would be perfectly at home in the water? The Piedmont is home to the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker and the Mourning Dove. Peck, peck, peck, peck, peck, peck, peck….. The Piedmont is also home to White-tailed Deer. They prefer wooded areas, but as we continue to populate the area, we force them into unsafe territory. Don’t do it little guy! Look both ways! As we increase the human population in this region, we continue to push animals out of their natural habitats. Here are some coyotes in downtown Atlanta- if caught, they are most likely re-released outside of the state. They are not a threat to humans, but they do prey upon family pets now that we share a habitat with them. Load up! Let’s head farther south into the Coastal Plain Region! It’s a big region, so we have lots to explore! Coastal Plain The Coastal Plain Habitat… The Coastal Plain Habitat… •It makes up southern Georgia, so it’s the warmest region of the state. •The land is flat, and the soil is mostly sandy. This creates a unique environment for many different plants and animals. In the Coastal Plain, you might see….. a lack of hills and an abundance of water. Actually, most of the water is on the east side of the state. The western side is pretty, but flat. Closer to the coast, there are lots of tall pines and Saw Palmettos. Georgia’s state bird, the Brown Thrasher, might nest in trees like these! It has lots of huge branches to choose from, and the moss that grows on them would make perfect nesting material! If I were a bird, I’d make my home in one of Georgia’s Live Oaks! (It’s the Georgia State Tree!) Double-crested Cormorants, Snowy Egrets, and Blue Heron love to live near the coastal waters. Can you guess why? This region is also home to the venomous Coral Snake! Red on black, friend of Jack. Red on yellow, kill a fellow! The Little Grass Frog is one of the tiniest critters that live in this coastal habitat. The armadillo is one of the most unique animals that make this region their home. (They just don’t fare so The Swamps and Marshes….. On the Coastal Plains are patches of another kind of habitat. These are known as the Swamps and Marshes. The Okefenokee Swamp one of the largest swamps in the U.S. and is a habitat for many different species of plants and animals. Want to see some? The Okefenokee Swamp is obviously a very wet, mucky place to be! Most trees would drown in this habitat, but not the Cypress- it loves all that muck! That muck is also a great habitat for American Alligators. They call the swamps home! Want to go for a little swim??? (I’ll pass!) Since mosquitoes need warm temperatures and water in which to lay their eggs…. The swamps are a perfect habitat for the little bloodsuckers! Ouch! Wire grass and sea weed are two type of vegetation that abound near the coast. Southern Toads love the nestle among the vegetation and catch mosquitoes! Yummy! Where the warm, salty waters of the Atlantic Ocean meet our state, a very unique habitat is created. To see some of Georgia’s coolest animals, we’ll need one of these! Sub=Below Marine=Water The Right Whale is Georgia’s State Mammal! They were named “Right” because when they were hunted long ago, they were easy to catch, they floated when killed, and they held lots of oil and meat. They were just right for hunting. Sadly, they were almost hunted to extinction. Pilot Whales and Bottlenose Dolphins also live in this habitat! Ok, so this habitat extends beyond our state, but we are lucky enough to have these animals call Georgia waters home. Loggerhead Sea Turtles and Manatees can also be found in waters off of Georgia’s coast! Both are also considered endangered. Manatees like to swim close to the surface, and so many get killed or injured by boats. Sea turtles are caught in fishing traps and nets quite often.