After weathering a rather mild winter, it was only the snow and ice that we experienced in late February that somewhat hampered our replanting and preparing of the outdoor gardens for spring break in the Borneo entry and South Africa, home to our Black-footed penguin colony.
Thankfully it turned out to be another extremely busy and safe spring break, which actually spanned a two-week period this year. Our group of enthusiastic ambassadors entertained guests as they waited in line for admission with our penguin, toucan, leafy seadragon and crocodile costumes – with lots of interesting photos being taken.
Another upcoming spring activity is our involvement in Iquitos, Peru on Earth Day. On April 22, for the fifth consecutive year, we will be releasing Amazonian manatees in Peru from our award-winning rehabilitation and conservation center Acobia. A full story with pictures will be in the next newsletter and on our website.
Read about our involvement in the conservation of the Yellow-spotted river turtle in Yellow-spotted River Turtles Released in the Peruvian Amazon. Similar to our educational involvement of local school children in the manatee project, young students make this project very worthwhile and successful.
Two years ago we wrote about our participation as part of a group convening in London to develop a global action plan for the conservation of sawfish. A Strategy for Sawfish gives an update of our involvement in the conservation efforts of the species and a look at the detailed document that was the result of the meeting.
Spring is Here reports on the reproductive success we are experiencing with many species of birds. We sometimes pull the eggs and incubate them, which means we have to then hand-feed the chicks. Many of our free-flight birds construct their nests, lay and incubate the eggs, and feed their offspring on their own. We are seeing more of this each year, which is encouraging. It is quite challenging to locate the nests and watch for the chicks.
More obvious and easier to find is the baby Pied tamarin that is discussed in A Baby for Maria and Grant. The first offspring of Maria and Grant, this endangered tamarin is very inquisitive and fun to watch.
On a more serious note, but of particular interest this time of year, is the information in Don’t Tread on Me. Texas is home to 105 species and subspecies of snakes, of which only 15 are dangerous to humans.
Many snakes are masters of disguise, such as Fer-de-lances or rattle snakes that blend in the leaf litter or terrain on they are laying. The Book of the Month is about camouflage and how it allows varies species to disappear into their surroundings.
Thanks for your continued support of the DWA. Another reminder that as the end of the school year approaches, school groups are taking field trips. With the recent snow days in many schools, rescheduling makes for some days that are quite busy. You are welcome to call and ask about the number of groups, approximate number of students and estimated departure times for a particular week day.