Animal Tracking Expert to Give

Slide Lecture on Otter Creek Region

Public Invited to Attend Free Wildlife


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


“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


For more information, contact event

organizer Ms. Barry King at 802-388-4082.