This winter, The Elephant Sanctuary and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) have teamed up once again on an exciting new conservation project to help local Tennessee pollinators by establishing native meadows with a variety of flowering seeds and seasonal plants within The Sanctuary's habitats.
Pollinators, like bees, butterflies, beetles, and even small mammals, are vitally important to our ecosystem and agriculture. “As pollinators are declining worldwide, it is becoming increasingly important to offer habitats to support the existing populations,” says Jesse Eaker, Biodiversity Survey Manager at TWRA. Jesse and his team have started the process of creating the half-acre “Pollinator Garden,” which is located just outside of the Africa Habitat.
With the support and funding of TWRA, a portion of open landscape at The Sanctuary will now be dedicated to wildlife that might benefit from the Pollinator Garden. “This creation of habitat will not only support pollinators but also showcase a glimpse of Tennessee's natural beauty,” says Jesse.
The Sanctuary and TWRA have previously collaborated on an ongoing conservation study and multi-species wildlife survey conducted on Sanctuary grounds, showing that The Elephant Sanctuary provides a haven not only for elephants, but for many of Tennessee's wildlife species across our 3,060 acres. This study focuses on a better understanding of the habits, population status, and ranges of some of Tennessee’s most rare native species, including the Northern Pine Snake, Pygmy Rattlesnake, Eastern Spotted Skunk and the Four-Toed Salamander.
As spring approaches, we look forward to watching the project bloom!