Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Conservation Partnerships: IP and NFWF's Impact on Wildlife Habitats


Every day, International Paper (IP) and their long-standing partner, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), work collaboratively to support landowners in sustainable forest management, thereby contributing to the preservation of precious wildlife habitats.
On National Wildlife Day, we highlight the positive impact of responsible forest management in safeguarding and improving habitats for rare and endangered species, such as gopher tortoises, Louisiana pine snakes, reticulated flatwoods salamanders, and red-cockaded woodpeckers.
Through the Forestland Stewards Partnership established in 2013 by IP and NFWF, dedicated efforts are directed towards the recovery of gopher tortoises and red-cockaded woodpeckers. Grants from this partnership fund initiatives aimed at protecting and enhancing ecologically significant forestlands and coastal savannas across 12 southern states.
Sophie Beckham, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at International Paper, emphasizes the importance of strategic collaborations in preserving forest habitats for native and migratory species. She emphasizes their commitment to such partnerships.
Notable projects led by The Longleaf Alliance, supported by NFWF and IP, include the translocation of federally endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers and the head-starting of gopher tortoises in South Carolina. These projects are vital for maintaining the delicate ecological balance of these forests. The Alliance's efforts involve the restoration of 5,000 acres of longleaf pine habitat, crucial for red-cockaded woodpeckers and gopher tortoises. The red-cockaded woodpecker, exclusive to pine trees, especially mature longleaf pines, creates cavities used by various other species for shelter and survival. Without them, other species are at risk.
Translocating these species, the process of relocating them from one area to another, supports the establishment of woodpecker populations in forests where they can have the greatest impact.
Gopher tortoises are indispensable to hundreds of species, serving as a "keystone species" by providing shelter to over 350 animals, including owls, snakes, foxes, toads, skunks, and lizards, in their burrows to escape heat, fires, and predators. Partners support gopher tortoises through head-starting, which involves collecting eggs from the wild, hatching them in managed care, raising them for a year, and then releasing them into their natural habitat. This process significantly improves their chances of survival, reduces predation risk, and augments the gopher tortoise population.
Since the inception of the Forestland Stewards Partnership, this critical conservation collaboration has restored, improved, or safeguarded over 1.2 million acres of wildlife habitat.