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West Virginia Wildlife
WVU Wetland
Patrick McMurtry A Mountaineer Studies A Local Wetland

December 4, 2013
Reporter: Patrick McMurtry
Videographer: Brad Rice

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Take a stroll around the Pleasant Creek Wetland and you'll see a nice stretch of land, a pretty little pond, and lots of birds. You might also see West Virginia University student Nick Goodwin. He's researching this man-made wetland to see how, and if, it's different from an older one across the road.

"I come here two times a week and in the winter, that might change to four times if there are more birds. At this site, I spend about a half an hour and walk around and work around the corner, identify them by species, if they're male or female and if they're feeding." says Goodwin.

This is important information because Nick is looking to see if wildlife can tell the difference between a new man made wetland and an older one.

"We're trying to study how a wetland is established, what birds use it, vegetation and also animals. We use the already existing wetland as a control to see what kind of birds are around, we use this one to see when species start to show up and if it's the same as the one across the road." says Goodwin.

Nick's spending a lot of time here at Pleasant Creek, time that's helping him earn his degree, but it's not exactly a chore. You see, birds have fascinated him for a long time and this gives him a chance to learn more about something he has a passion for.

"I'm learning a lot about bird behavior and migration. There are a lot of birds that were here that are no longer here, like sandpipers. We don't see those anymore, but there are more ducks that weren't here before." says Goodwin.

This study is ongoing, and when it's done, Nick hopes he's learned all there is to know about the West Virginia Division of Natural Resource's latest wildlife management project.



LEARN MORE at the W. Va. DNR


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