Photographed by Bette Jackson
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. It's good news to know that the results of more than 30 years of North American breeding bird surveys suggest that populations of the great egret are holding steady. This long-legged wader is a familiar sight in North American wetlands, and its presence in stable populations can be taken as an indication that we've been doing something right with the environment. On the other hand, we know that this bird faces difficulties in our modern world that its ancestors didn't have to cope with. For example, many are killed each year as a result of collisions with utility wires that pass through wetland habitats. Wetlands on airports have brought these birds into habitats dangerous both to them and to the flying public. An egret's slow flight makes them especially vulnerable to being hit. Oil and other chemical pollutants also take a toll. But the single most important problem egrets face is habitat destruction, ranging from draining of wetlands to clearing of nesting areas.'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.