Altamaha River CorridorsThe third largest watershed on the east coast, the Altamaha River Corridor has been recognized as one of the “75 Last Great Places in the World” by The Nature Conservancy.

The Altamaha River Corridor (ARC) is the focal landscape of our Longleaf Savannas Initiative and contains the Orianne Indigo Snake Preserve (OISP). This area has extensive sandhills and tracts of Longleaf Pine used by Eastern Indigo SnakesGopher Tortoises, and Spotted Turtles. In fact, the ARC is part of the Altamaha-Ocmulgee-Ohoopee River Corridors Priority Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Area that is considered one of the most important habitats in the range of these species. The OISP is in the western portion of the ARC and is comprised of approximately 48,704 acres. Of the 48,704, 2,607 acres are owned by The Orianne Society and a further 46,097 acres are managed through conservation partners or cooperating private landowners.

Throughout this landscape, The Orianne Society is committed to increasing our conservation footprint through the combination of additional land protection and partnering with private landowners to protect and restore their properties. Land management activities focus on prescribed burning (essential for maintaining the Longleaf Pine ecosystem and open sandhills), planting of Longleaf Pine seedlings, and restoration of appropriate ground cover. These activities promote Gopher Tortoise populations and the burrows that species such as Indigo Snakes and Diamondback Rattlesnakes rely upon. In addition to land management, we are conducting field research on imperiled reptiles and amphibians in the region, including monitoring the population status of priority species.

RELATED INFORMATION

Eastern Indigo Snake

As one of the largest snakes in North America, this majestic nonvenomous animal truly lives up to its name, "Emperor of the Forest."

Gopher Tortoise

Many species including the Eastern Indigo Snake and Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake rely on Gopher Tortoise burrows for den and nesting sites.

Spotted Turtle

Complementing our efforts to protect the Gopher Tortoise, we are directing our efforts toward the conservation of this small, mostly-aquatic species.