Plants & Animals

  • What’s in Those Oysters You’re Eating?

    A recent study takes a closer look at what’s accumulating in the oysters of Brunswick and New Hanover counties. In the first of two parts, we detail the research of a contaminant banned in Europe but commonly used here.

  • UNCW Lab at Center of Dolphin Deaths

    Dolphins that die along the southern N.C. coast often end up at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, where scientists have played a major role in investigating the recent viral epidemic that has killed thousands of dolphins.

  • ‘A Terrible Milestone’

    They are washing up on beaches and in estuaries, both the dead and the dying. More than 1,000 bottlenose dolphin have died along the East Coast since July. “It’s a terrible milestone,” says a scientist who has examined many of them.

  • The Flight of the Oystercatcher

    Little backpack transmitters attached to six American oystercatchers are helping N.C. scientists understand the plight of a troubled species.

  • How Many Alligators in N.C?

    To try and answer that question, Lindsey Garner, a graduate student at N.C. State University, is conducting the first alligator census in the state in 30 years.

  • Sea Turtles and Technology

    There may come a day when new technology will help predict the beginning of life for one of nature’s oldest species.

  • Tracking Giants of the Cape Fear

    State researchers catch and tag Atlantic sturgeon that prowl the Cape Fear River. The tags allow researchers to follow the movements of the endangered fish. Keeping track of them will help protect these ancient giants.

  • Looking for Answers to Help Terrapins

    Diamondback terrapins were once abundant in our coast’s marshes, creeks and sounds. Their population has declined, and researchers at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington hope to find some answers.

  • Hydrilla: ‘The Kudzu of the Water’

    A little plant from Korea showed up in lakes around Raleigh 30 years ago. It now plagues the Roanoke, Chowan and Pasquotank rivers and has been spotted in Albemarle Sound. Biologists fear that pristine Lake Mattamuskeet and Lake Phelps could be next.

  • The Invasion of the Reed Plant

    A native plant that was once part of healthy coastal wetlands is being pushed aside by a foreign cousin that is invading our marshes, creating a barren ecosystem in its wake.

  • The Coast’s Underwater Gardens

    Only a few feet below the surface of the state’s coastal waters, expansive beds of eelgrass and shoal grass form underwater gardens where life flourishes.