SHERWOOD, Tenn. (AP) — More than 1,000 acres (405 hectares) have been added to southcentral Tennessee’s Bear Hollow Mountain Wildlife Management Area, connecting two sections of the WMA that were previously divided.

The Conservation Fund purchased the property in March 2021 to buy time for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to secure funds for its purchase. The property was officially transferred to the agency last week, according to a news release from The Conservation Fund.

The land is mostly forested with habitat for eight bat species of greatest conservation need in Tennessee, including three that are federally listed as threatened or endangered. The land also supports several federally listed plant species.

The 17,000-acre (6,880-hectare) Bear Hollow Mountain WMA has extensive hardwood forests. Some of the ridgetops have been cleared for the restoration of native warm grasses, providing habitat for migratory songbirds. The WMA has developed hiking trails and is popular for wildlife viewing and hunting.