Last Saturday Fossil Rim celebrated National Earth Day. It was the perfect opportunity to communicate with a concerned public about the issues our future generations are faced with. The education department set up several craft stations in order to carry out our vision: to focus on the good stewardship of wildlife for the wellbeing of our planet.
Many times it is hard to make the connection between the wellbeing of our planet’s wildlife and the wellbeing of humans. Fossil Rim is home to a variety of animals and spectacular breeding programs, but for what reason? Why are these animals here, why are they important and what impact would their disappearance have on this planet and to us humans? There is an intricate balance to this world we live in, and when that balance is disturbed serious issues may arise.
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center has a dedicated Attwater’s prairie-chicken reintroduction and breeding program, so it seemed fitting to make this endangered grouse our Earth Day spokesperson, or shall I say spokes animal!
The Attwatter’s prairie-chicken is a ground dwelling bird that inhabits coastal prairie areas and uses tall grasses and shrubs for both food and cover. Developed areas can increase predation because having less protective coverage makes them easier pray for terrestrial predators. We want to preserve this species because they play a vital role in the ecosystem. By foraging heavily on insects, they act as pest management, which may otherwise become an issue for nearby homeowners and farmers.
The Attwater’s prairie-chicken is just one of many species that are in danger of becoming extinct. When a species becomes extinct, it is gone forever and so are the services it provided. We can help save wildlife by making small changes like using less water, minimizing our waste and recycling.
We hope that we were able to instill a desire to live a life of stewardship in young minds, so that they will help conserve this world 365 days of the year!
By: Calyn Wall (Education Intern)