- Associated Press - Thursday, December 11, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A conservation group says it has acquired 1,419 acres of land in the Talladega National Forest that could help preserve Alabama’s longleaf pine habitat and the red-cockaded woodpeckers.

The Nature Conservancy purchased the land in Chilton County from the Hancock Timber Resource Group for $2.45 million.

Al.com reports (https://bit.ly/1GoaGLb) that the Nature Conservancy will partner with the U.S. Forest Service to expand the longleaf line pine habitat restoration, where the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker makes its habitat.

The red-cockaded woodpecker is about the size of the common cardinal and found in 11 states from Texas to Virginia. They were once a fixture in the longleaf pine forests that used to cover 60 million to 90 million acres.

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