Juma the Giraffe is featured in the Peace For Conservation environmental education program in communities west of Serengeti National Park Tanzania. Kids learn about giraffes and other wildlife, write songs praising giraffe, paint, and do good deeds in this very cool program. #StandTallForGiraffe
CORVALLIS, Ore. - A groundbreaking two-year study in southern Oregon found greater abundance and diversity of wild bees in areas that experienced moderate and severe forest fires compared to areas with low-severity fires. The study, published today in the journal Ecosphere by researchers in the Oregon State University College of Forestry, is the first to demonstrate that wildfire severity is a strong predictor of bee diversity in mixed-conifer forest.
Bees are the most important among the Earth's pollinators, which combine for an estimated $100 billion in global economic impact each year. Oregon is home to more than 500 species of native bees. Animal pollinators enhance the reproduction of nearly 90 percent of the Earth's flowering plants, including many food crops. The pollinators are an essential component of insect and plant biodiversity. Bees are the standard bearer because they're usually present in the greatest numbers and because they're the only pollinator group that feeds exclusively on nectar and pollen their entire life.
Scientists led by OSU forest wildlife ecologist Jim Rivers in 2016 began trapping bees at 43 sites in forests burned by the 2013 Douglas Complex fire that scorched nearly 50,000 acres north of Grants Pass. They collected bees with blue-vane traps, which attract the insects by reflecting ultraviolet light, and used satellite imagery to determine fire severity.
"Twenty times more individuals and 11 times more species were captured in areas that experienced high fire severity relative to areas with the lowest fire severity," said Sara M. Galbraith, a postdoctoral researcher in the College of Forestry. "We detected a large number of bees in recently burned forest patches. The bees represented five families and a large subset of Oregon's wild bee species." At low-severity sites, flames were mostly confined to low-growing vegetation. "If you weren't looking for the markers of fire, in the low-severity spots you wouldn't know that they had burned," Galbraith said. "The canopy is more closed, and there wasn't a lot of visible evidence of fire except for blackened areas on the tree trunks." In contrast, some of the high-severity sites had a completely open canopy.
"There were many more flowering plants in the understory because the light limitation was gone," she said. "The flowering plants and another critical habitat component for maintaining bee populations -boring insect exit holes used by cavity-nesting bees - both increased with fire severity." And the two most abundant genera among the trapped bees, Bombus (bumblebee species) and Halictus (sweat bee species), each responded positively to high fire severity despite having different foraging ranges.
"This research adds to the evidence that there is high biodiversity in early seral forests - the beginning stages of forest development - and moving forward, the amount and location of this habitat could have an impact on services like pollination in the landscape overall," she said. "Half of Oregon is forested, yet we know very little about bees in forests, especially managed conifer forests. With this fundamental information, we can begin to understand the best management actions that can promote pollinator populations within managed forests."
Previous studies primarily just considered, "did it burn or didn't it burn?'" Galbraith said. "Our study took into account the mosaic of habitats that you find after fires in many regions of the world," she said. "We found that burn severity is really useful for predicting where the bee habitat will be after a fire. It makes sense that some organisms would have evolved to do well after severe burning in this fire-adapted landscape."
The Wildlife Warrior Clubs in Kenya are using our new African Rhinos: Conservation Crash! poster to teach kids about rhino ecology and conservation, thanks to our partners at Land & Life Foundation. We are excited that our education program is spreading to other countries in east Africa! #ConservationCrash #AfricasGiants
Wild Nature Institute makes our posters and activity guides free to download and print, and our storybooks can be viewed in English and Swahili as videobooks. Our goal is for children in Africa, the USA, and around the world to be inspired by charismatic mega-herbivores rhinos, giraffe, and elephants, and to love and protect wild nature wherever they live.
Thank you to our Celebrating Africa's Giants partners PAMS Foundation, our funders at USAID, The Living Desert, Sac Zoo, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Tulsa Zoo, Tierpark Berlin, and the Pollinator Project, and our design and production team, for helping us make these beautiful educational materials and get them into the hands and hearts of children around the world.
The Wild Nature Institute and PAMS Foundation celebrated International Day of Forests on 21 March by planting native tree seedlings at Lowassa Secondary School in Makuyuni. On this very special day, 76 students and 2 teachers from the Malihai Club (an after-school program focused on wildlife and the environment) first discussed the importance of forests and trees. Then students learned how to properly plant and care for a tree and planted 62 seedlings around the campus.
We are thrilled that children in Tanzania participated in the day, whose theme was "Forests and Education."
At the end of the day, we donated soccer balls so additional fun could be had.
This school is located in giraffe habitat in the Tarangire-Manyara region, so this activity will benefit both people and giraffes! We plan to do more tree restoration projects and inspire children to care for their forests, for giraffes, elephants, birds, people, and the planet!
Happy International Day of Forests! We can’t stop a climate catastrophe without scaling up the protection of forests around the world, including wildlife-rich burned forests in the United States (home to woodpeckers and owls) and Acacia savannas in Tanzania (home to giraffes). Be a part of the #Stand4Forests movement on #IntlForestDay - let's all be champions for our forests! https://stand4forests.org/take-action/
We are excited to share our newest addition to the Celebrating Africa's Giants education package - rhinoceros-themed activities to accompany our children's storybook, Helping Brother Rhinoceros, and our large-sized poster African Rhinos: Conservation Crash!
"Helping Out" meets Next Generation Science Standards as children Pre-K through 6th grade learn about wildlife conservation and inter-dependency of plants and animals using hands-on, creative and fun activities. The activities were developed by Lise Levy, science teacher extraordinaire and Wild Nature Institute's education consultant - thank you Lise! Lise trains Tanzanian teachers in hands-on teaching for deeper learning, and oversees distribution of Swahili versions of our books and posters to Tanzanian classrooms, together with our Tanzanian education coordinator James Madeli.
Click on the image below to download the full PDF of "Helping Out," or visit our Rhinoceros page on our Africa's Giants website.
All of our educational posters Wonderfully Weird Giraffes, Elephants: Enormous and Elegant, and African Rhinos: Conservation Crash! as well as our activity guides "Spot On", "Seeing Spots", "Making it Count", "Trunk Talk", and "Helping Out" are available for free download on our Africa's Giants website. Our three children's storybooks, Juma the Giraffe, Our Elephant Neighbours, and Helping Brother Rhinoceros, are available for purchase by contacting Monica_at_wildnatureinstitute.org. Coming soon is the inaugural issue of our "Nature's Giants with Doug Beetle" magazine, jam-packed with kids-oriented articles, games, activities, jokes, and comics - featuring our beloved mascot Doug Beetle (a dung beetle and ecological giant) as narrator.
These materials comprise our complete environmental education package for zoos, classrooms, community centers, and anyone wanting to share the joy and wonder of nature with children. FOR MORE INFORMATION contact Monica_at_wildnatureinstitute.org.
Rest In Peace, Bramble Cay Melomys. On 18 February 2019, this beautiful, unique rodent was declared extinct by the Australian government. Sea-level rise due to climate change caused waves to wash over its island home, depriving the animal of food and cover. It was last seen in 2009.
On Behalf of Humanity, We Are So Sorry For Causing Your Extinction. May We Be Forgiven For Our Folly and Humbly Consider Your Demise As A Wake-Up Call To Finally Take Real Action To Stop Damaging the Planet That We All Share.
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Our environmental education program is working with teachers and schools to inspire the next generation of Tanzanian conservationists.
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