Bare Bones Biology 048 – The Wildlife Center

I went up to Santa Fe last week and took a course in multimedia story telling. The story that I and my partner chose to tell was of The Wildlife Center, and its director, Katherine Eagleson. I’d like to just play the sound track for you today, as a way of introducing Katherine. I think you’ll like her and her project.

“We get no fewer than 20 calls a day from people in New Mexico, and invariably, the first thing they say is: ‘I like wildlife but . . ‘ More and more people are living at the interface of habitats, and that’s where wildlife likes to be also. They want us to move them. We can’t just keep moving larger and larger numbers of animals into smaller and smaller habitats. If this is gonna work, people need to learn to co-exist. The major influence on habitats here is human encroachment. Here, in the middle part of the state, there are more and more people moving in, more and more housing developments, more roads to get people more places, all of these things impact wildlife. If you just look at the highway they put in here, they have concrete barracades on both sides of that highway. What we’ve done now is fragment those ecosystems, so animals can not move across, they can not disburse to find new territories. I think we’ve moved a little bit from saving one animal at a time to saving species and saving habitat. We’ll still do the rehabilitation, that’s an integral part of our work, but we realize the future really rests with young people, becoming engaged, the public becoming engaged, and learning how to co-exist, to live with wildlife.

To do that, they need to know what wildlife needs. Schools don’t have the money, people don’t have the experience, elementary school teachers are already taxed with overloaded classrooms, and they aren’t generally well versed in science topics. Kids would come here and they would see the wildlife, and they’d thinkl, ‘That was pretty cool’ but until they understand what the impact human existence has on wildlife, and understand the habitat and natural history of wildlife, they aren’t going to understand how their behavior needs to change and adapt in order to assure that wildlife has a future in New Mexico. It’s gonna take everybody to make this work.?

We know she’s right. It will take everyone. Everyone talking together, thinking about problems in a positive way, and finding new ways to do what’s necessary to keep ourselves going in a declining economic situation. I think Katherine has the right idea. She has a wonderful classroom for some of the top students in that community, and they have hands-on experience with life, what is life, what does it need, and why we have to co-operate with life itself, and the ecosystem, if we’re going to make it through this bottleneck that’s approaching.

So, what I’m planning to do is to apply the multimedia methods and techniques to some short little stories about how we here in the Brazos Valley are dealing with reality. I’ll tell you more about that later.

Bare Bones Biology 048 – The Wildlife Center
KEOS Radio, 89.1
Download mp3 of the audiocast here.

Multimedia presentation by Lynn Lamoreux and Megan Westerveld
Santa Fe Workshops, Ami Vitali
The Wildlife Center
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 246 Espanola, New Mexico 87532

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