Celebrate Wildlife Day will honor York

Photo courtesy National Park Service
Ranger Jessica Collins shares a mountain lion skull with Jakiah and Dante Smith Evans.

Photo courtesy National Park Service Ranger Jessica Collins shares a mountain lion skull with Jakiah and Dante Smith Evans.

On Saturday, Nov. 1, Grand Canyon National Park will host its first Celebrate Wildlife Day - a day dedicated to learning about the unique and varied wildlife that make this spectacular landscape their home.

Celebrate Wildlife Day started with the idea of honoring the work of biologist Eric York, who dedicated his life to the study of wildlife in Grand Canyon National Park and around the world.

That idea quickly grew into an event that will provide opportunities to learn about regional wildlife and about the discipline of wildlife biology.

The event will take place at the Shrine of the Ages from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. It will include an all day open house with exhibits, touch tables, informal activities and book sales, as well as programs about wildlife and wildlife biology. Indoor programs will include talks on bats, condors and mountain lions.

Outdoor programs will include workshops on tracks and scat and birds of prey. From 10 a.m.-5 p.m. there will also be educational demonstrations with live animals provided by the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center.

In addition, there will be special evening programs, including a presentation by New Mexico State Parks' Kevin Hansen, interpretive ranger, wildlife biologist and author of "Cougar: The American Lion." At 7 p.m., the students of Grand Canyon Unified School District will honor Grand Canyon's wildlife with a special presentation of their own design. Following that at 7:30 p.m., Kevin Hansen will present a talk on mountain lions with book signing to follow.

The Grand Canyon is known for its spectacular geologic landscapes, but many may not realize that the varied landscape provides habitat for a wide variety of plant communities, and therefore, for the animals that rely on those plants for food.

Celebrate Wildlife Day is being made possible through a partnership between the National Park Service, Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center, the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Grand Canyon Association.

For more information on Celebrate Wildlife Day, call Park Ranger Lori Rome at 638-7783. For a full line up of programs, times and locations, visit www.nps.gov/grca/naturescience/wildlife-day.htm. For information on Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center, visit

www.azwildlifecenter.net; for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, visit

www.azgfd.gov; and for the Grand Canyon Association, visit

www.grandcanyon.org.

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