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** Archived Article - please check for current information. **

August 18, 2011

Boardwalk at Dungannon Plantation Heritage Preserve reopened

The boardwalk at the Dungannon Plantation Heritage Preserve (HP) has been reopened because the wood stork nesting season has concluded. All trails are open for public use. This season, 173 stork nests were counted at Dungannon. The storks nested successfully at Dungannon this year, and an average of 1.6 chicks fledged per nest.

Wood storks are a federally endangered species. The United States breeding population of wood storks was listed as endangered after nesting pairs declined from between 15,000 and 20,000 in the 1930’s to 2,500 pairs by 1978. Historically, wood storks have used South Carolina as a post-nesting foraging area during the summer and fall. In 1981, the first successful wood stork nests were documented in South Carolina (11 nests).

Presently, there are approximately 1,500 – 2,000 wood stork nests in South Carolina each year.

The Dungannon Plantation Heritage Preserve offers excellent habitat for many migrating and breeding songbirds and a variety of native wildflowers including large stands of wild Easter lily and five species of orchids. Dungannon is about 17 miles south of Charleston on SC Highway 162, four miles from the turn-off from US Highway 17. The well-marked trails and roads offer easy walking through open hardwood forest. No motorized vehicles are allowed. The preserve is open seven days a week during daylight hours. Five miles of trails, along with another five miles of roads and fire breaks, wind through the wooded areas and along the edges of the extensive narrow swamp.

Trail maps and other information about Dungannon can be found online. Maps are also available at a mailbox at the Dungannon gate along with the sign-in sheets.

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