South Georgia Wildlife

This TopicQuest was designed for Mrs. M. Bett's kindergarten class at Cook County Primary School by, Kevin Daw, a Valdosta State Pre-service teacher.


Have you ever thought about the different kinds of animals that live right here in South Georgia?  Some of these animals are small, some are big, some are fast, and some are slow.  How would you like to learn more about your neighbors in the wild?  If so, join me on a little walk with South Georgia's wildlife.

1.  The whitetail deer is one of Georgia's popular animals.  The male deer are called "Bucks" and the females are called "Does".  The babies are called "Fawns" and are born in the Spring time.  When the babies are born they are able to walk in a very short time and this is the time when they are most vulnerable to predators.
2.   The Black Bear which is found in southeast Georgia is a subspecies of the American Black Bear and is called the Florida Black Bear.  The areas in Georgia that you would most likely find a Black Bear is near the Okefenokee Swamp.  During the winter they disappear into hibernation.  In the spring time they re-emerge when the wild blackberries and huckleberries start blooming.  Some of there favorite foods are honey, blackberries, huckleberries, and palmetto berries.

3.  The Raccoon is a nocturnal animal, feeding mostly at night.  The adults only weigh about 15 pounds but can put up a good fight against predators.  They will eat almost anything but crayfish are their favorite.  The raccoon will even raid trash cans for an easy dinner.  They are brown colored with black rings on their tails and have a black mask around their eyes.

4.  The Grey Squirrel is very popular throughout Georgia.  They build their nest very high in the tree tops to raise their families.  Their favorite foods are acorns, pecans, and other nuts.  They are closely related to the Fox Squirrel which is quit a bit larger.  They are also know as Cat Squirrels.
fox squirrel
5.  The Fox squirrel is the largest of all the tree squirrels. They have three different color phases.  There are three different color phases which are grey backs with yellowish bellies, reddish in color, and black with a white blaze on their face and a white tipped tail.  For the most part the males and females are the same in size and color.  They close cousins with the grey squirrel, however, the grey squirrel is at least 20% smaller and have silver tipped fur.
flying squirrel
6.  The Southern Flying Squirrel is much smaller than their cousin the grey squirrel.  Unlike most squirrels which come out during the day to eat, the flying squirrel is nocturnal venturing out from their nest only at night.  They do not fly like a bird  they glide through the air with large flaps of skin on their sides.  They are only about 4 to 5 inches long with a tail about 3 inches.

7.  The Armadillo found in south Georgia is the nine-banded armadillo.  It has a lizard like skin and a bony plated shell which is a perfect defense for predators.  The female always gives birth to quadruplets of the same sex.  They are wonderful diggers and live in below ground burrows.  
8.  The Bobcat is less secretive than its Canadian cousin the Lynx.  It has a large range of habitats ranging from the Canadian / USA border down through Mexico.  They are found in swamp areas in South Georgia.  They may be small in size but they have a big attitude. 

9.  The Otter is found in and around lakes, pounds, creeks, and rivers in South Georgia.  They have a long sleek body with webbed feet which helps them swim through the water at fast speeds.  The do not like nasty or polluted water.  Their favorite food is fish but will eat crayfish, frogs, and insects.

10. The Beaver is america's largest rodent and are famous for their dam-building skills.  Their homes are built out of sticks and mud with an underwater entrance to an inside platform above the water.  They raise their  babies in their underwater homes.  They stay in during the day and come out in the evening and night to look for food.

Scenario Mission

Pretend you work at Wild Adventures in the zoo department.  Your main job is taking care of and feeding the animals that are native to South Georgia.  You are told to help create a diet plan for an
armadillo that will be arriving in a few weeks.  His name is Diller and he will be very hungry when he arrives.  After reading about the armadillo  make a list of all the foods he likes to eat.

Mission Steps

1.  Pretend you work for Wild Adventures and you have to make a list of all the foods Diller will like.
2.  Click on the web page for armadillos and read all about what type of foods they like.
3.  Make a list of all the foods Diller likes to eat.

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