Middlebury

November 16, 2000

Animal Tracking Expert to Give
Slide Lecture on Otter Creek Region

Public Invited to Attend Free Wildlife
Event

 

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. Naturalist Susan
Morse, director of the nonprofit organization Keeping Track, will
give a slide lecture as part of an event focusing on wildlife habitat
in the Otter Creek Swamp. The event, which will also include exhibits
and displays, will take place from 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at
the Salisbury Community School on Kelly Cross Road in Salisbury. It
is free and open to the public.

The Otter Creek Audubon Society, the
Vermont Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, and Middlebury College are
co-hosting the event with the goal of starting community teams to
monitor wildlife in the 15,000-acre Otter Creek Swamp. The swamp area
extends from Florence to Middlebury and includes Brandon, Sudbury,
Whiting, Leicester, Salisbury, and Cornwall.

The wildlife event will serve as an
introduction to conservation biology and habitat monitoring for local
citizens and offer community members the opportunity to join a local
monitoring program. The public may also browse among extensive
exhibits of animal track molds and a variety of signs indicating the
presence of wildlife. Skins, skulls, feet, and other materials
related to tracking and monitoring will be on display as well. Sample
maps showing occurrences of wildlife sightings and activity will
demonstrate the importance of wildlife travel corridors. Keeping
Track’s staff will be available to answer questions.

Morse is a nationally recognized
naturalist and habitat specialist with 30 years of experience
tracking and interpreting wildlife uses of habitat. She will
introduce participants to her organization’s methodology,
stressing the importance of planning for wildlife conservation with
regard to the landscape rather than town or county borders, which are
meaningless to animals. Morse’s presentation includes a segment
on carnivore biology and ecology as well. A question and answer
session will follow her talk.

Based in Jericho, Keeping Track is
dedicated to inspiring community participation in the long-term
stewardship of wildlife habitat. The organization teaches adults and
children to observe, interpret, record, and monitor evidence of
wildlife in their communities, and supports the use of monitoring
data by citizens in local and regional conservation planning.
According to Keeping Track’s staff, data on wide-ranging
mammals, such as the black bear, bobcat, and fisher provides a vital
indicator of the ecological health of the landscape as a
whole.

"A Keeping Track wildlife event gives
everyone, especially families, an opportunity to enjoy an educational
and inspiring evening. People with diverse interests and professions
who enjoy the outdoors are encouraged to attend, including hikers,
hunters, farmers, local businesspeople, teachers, nature enthusiasts,
loggers, and skiers anyone with an interest in wildlife and the
desire to learn more,” said Nan Jenks-Jay, Middlebury College
director of environmental affairs and lecturer in environmental
studies.

For more information, contact event
organizer Ms. Barry King at 802-388-4082.

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