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Wildlife Education Series

Wildlife Education Series

Wildlife Education Series

Join us on Zoom for an enlightening discussion about beluga whale research and exciting advances in animal science!

Thursday, June 2, 2022 at 6:00pm – Learning from Whale Snot!

Learning from Whale Snot!

In this virtual talk, Dr. Justin Richard, Assistant Professor at University of Rhode Island, will talk about beluga whale research! Specifically, Dr. Richard will share the critical research that occurs at aquariums to develop minimally-invasive tools to study beluga whales, and how we can explore beluga whale biology in new ways by combining behavioral research with physiological research. Learn how exhaled breath samples can be used to study beluga whale genetic relationships, maturity status, and even help detect pregnancy!

Dr. Richard’s interest in marine mammals developed at Mystic Aquarium, where he was a beluga whale trainer for nearly 10 years before entering a PhD program in Integrative and Evolutionary Biology at URI.  Now a member of the faculty in the department of Animal and Veterinary Science, he teaches courses relating to animal behavior, marine mammals, and zoo and aquarium animal care and management.  His research takes an integrative approach to studying behavior in zoos and aquariums to fill knowledge gaps about animals and behaviors that are logistically difficult to study in the wild to advance conservation efforts.  His research program emphasizes undergraduate participation, providing opportunities for interested students to engage in authentic learning experiences in animal science.

This programming is FREE. When registering, please consider making a donation to ensure we can stay connected.

Party for the Planet

Party for the Planet

Let’s Do Our Part

Party for the Planet is the largest combined Earth Day celebration in North America! More than 100 AZA accredited zoos and aquariums across the country celebrate with activities, giveaways, and special events.

Join us at the Buttonwood Park Zoo on Saturday, April 23rd from 11 am to 2 pm when we will offer our visitors the opportunity to explore, learn, and play as 20+ local organizations and businesses come together to celebrate green, sustainable living and and teach us how to make choices that will ensure the health of our planet for generations to come. Don’t forget to bring in any unwanted electronics (see details below).

To add to the fun, the Zoo will have live music, a raffle, fun games, face painting, an ambulance onsite, Earth Day-inspired enrichment demonstrations with our animals, and so much more! It’s a party for the planet, come celebrate with us!

Connect with Nature

Connecting with nature is healthy for us mentally and physically.

Spring into Action by tracking the monarch butterfly migration north from their overwintering grounds in Mexico to coastal California through the United States and Canada. To capture how monarchs recolonize the breeding areas, report first sightings of adults, the first emergence of milkweeds, and first eggs and larvae to Journey North. Already seen your “first” spring observations? No problem! Please report all observations after these “firsts” to Journey North
as well. Tag AZA during registration by adding AZA Party for the Planet in the comment section of your report!

Create Pollinator Spaces in your backyard! AZA is partnering with The National Wildlife Federation to expand native habitats across AZA-accredited facilities and their members. NWF’s Certified Wildlife Habitat® program helps to create and restore habitat and wildlife populations. Turning your yard, balcony container garden, work landscape, or roadside greenspace into a Certified Wildlife Habitat® is fun, easy, and can make a lasting difference for wildlife. Spring into Action with AZA and NWF in creating native habitats near you!

Electronic Waste Drop-off

Members of the community can bring in any unwanted electronic item during Party for the Planet and we will see to it that it is properly recycled by an electronic recycling firm; one free child admission per party/family into Party for the Planet with E-Waste drop-off! 

All electronic items can be taken at no charge, with the exception of tube TVs. Those require a $10 disposal fee. Other items collected at no charge are cell phones, stereo equipment, desktop or laptop computers, printers, scanners, tablets, household appliances (toasters, blenders, etc), as well as microwaves and other consumer electronics.

Join a Clean-up!

Here are some local clean-up meetups in collaboration with Be the Solution to Pollution:

🌎 April 3rd from 9-12 at Fairhaven Bike Path (meeting behind the community center)
🌎 April 9th at 10 am at West Beach, New Bedford (in association with Nativity Prep)
🌎 April 25th at 9 am at Fort Phoenix, Fairhaven

Nature Connection Activities

Nature Connection Activities

Our favorite Nature Connection Activities – in one place!

Connecting our community to the natural world – that is what BPZOO strives to do every day. When a global pandemic forced our doors to close in mid-March, we knew we needed to find a way to help our community maintain that connection.

We did that by posting 68 different activities on Facebook and Instagram to inspire families of all ages to engage in the outside world around them – wherever they were. Spending time in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety, improve mood, and boost feelings of happiness and well-being. The natural world is also a powerful educational tool that can stimulate a child’s natural curiosity and creativity through multi-sensory, hands-on exploration and play.

BPZOO Educators have taken their favorite activities and put them in one place!

Nature Connection Activities

Did hear that Charlie’s Nature Play is now open?
Remember, it’s still BYOT- bring your own toys!

 

 

 

BPZOO now has a StoryWalk®!

BPZOO now has a StoryWalk®!

The Buttonwood Park Zoo, in conjunction with the New Bedford Birth – 3rd Partnership, is now home to a StoryWalk® – in 4 languages!

In July of 2020, guests to the Zoo were able to peruse the pages of the beloved children’s book “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle as they strolled the newly opened pathway around the elephant habitat. In August, the StoryWalk® was “Planting a Rainbow” by Lois Ehlert. The StoryWalk®, in addition to English, is also posted in Portuguese, K’iche and Spanish. In September, the StoryWalk® was “From Head to Toe” by Eric Carle. In November, the StoryWalk® was “Pumpkin Eye” by Denise Fleming, including I Spy pages. In January, the StoryWalk® was “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?” by Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle.

The current StoryWalk® for April 2021 is “Flower Garden” by Eve Bunting. Illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt. Translated in 4 languages: Spanish, Portuguese, K’iche, Haitian Creole.

New Bedford Birth – 3rd Partnership’s vision is that with the support of a collaboration of community partners and families, New Bedford children are prepared to succeed in school, career, and life. They have a variety of resources for parents, caretakers, teachers and organizations – including the local community expectations for children up to age five. For more information on the New Bedford Birth – 3rd Partnership, a community wide early childhood initiative, visit their Facebook page.

Members: ArtWorks/New Bedford Art Museum, BMC Health Plan, Coastline Elderly Services, Early Childhood Consultation, Early Learning Child Care, Inc., Days of Discovery, Family Resource & Development Center (United Way of Greater New Bedford), Greater New Bedford Community Health Center (W.I.C. and Wellness Center), KDC Healthy Families/Early Intervention, Kiddie Kampus, Little People’s College (New Bedford and Fairhaven), Meeting Street Early Head Start, New Bedford Children, New Bedford Free Public Library, New Bedford Housing Authority, New Bedford Public Schools, NorthStar Learning Centers, P.A.C.E. Child Care Works and CFCE family engagement, P.A.C.E. Head Start, Reach Out and Read, Sunshine’s Place, South Coast Coalition for Early Childhood Education, United Way of Greater New Bedford, YMCA Southcoast, and Community Volunteers.

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Storywalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

 

Wildlife Education Series

Wildlife Education Series

Now virtual, the Wildlife Education Series is an educational discussion covering a wide range of topics pertaining to Biology, Ecology, Marine Biology, Animal Behavior, Veterinary and Conservation Sciences traditionally held at the Buttonwood Park Zoo. The format of the seminars will vary based on the topic and speaker, from lecture to problem based learning, and will be geared to inquisitive individuals who are eager to learn and ask questions.

Due to COVID-19, we are offering this programming to you for FREE. If you would like to make a donation to ensure we stay connected, text BPZOO20 to 41444 or donate here.

Join us via Zoom on May 28, 2020 at 7:00pm as David McGlinchey presents “Restoring the Amazon Rainforest”
Pre-registration is required.

This past summer, global attention was focused on widespread fires in the Amazon. Fires – and related deforestation for agriculture – have destroyed 800,000 square kilometers of Amazon rainforest over recent decades.

Stopping deforestation is a priority, but scientists are also figuring out effective ways to restore forest. New research conducted by the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) and the Amazon Environmental Research Institute has shown that lowland tapirs can restore degraded Amazonian forests by spreading tree seeds in areas that had been previously burned.

WHRC’s Dave McGlinchey with speak about how tapirs may be among the cheapest and easiest solutions for large-scale forest restoration, according to the study. The lowland tapir (also known as the South American or Brazilian tapir) is considered endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and vulnerable by the IUCN. Their population is dwindling in the face of deforestation and hunting.

Bio:
Dave McGlinchey is WHRC’s Chief of External Affairs. He is responsible for shaping the Center’s message and delivering the Center’s science to key decision-makers and the media. Dave is passionate about raising public awareness about climate change impacts and solutions and is the author of “Final Flight: 10 Northeastern Birding Spots at Risk from Climate Change.”

Dave earned his B.A. from Wake Forest University and his J.D. from Suffolk University Law School. He serves on the boards of the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative and the Spatial Informatics Group—Natural Assets Laboratory. In April 2019, he traveled through Brazil with a CBS film crew to document the effects of deforestation – and the work of scientists to save the Amazon.

 

 

It’s not litter, it’s enrichment

It’s not litter, it’s enrichment

It’s not litter, it’s enrichment!

 

AT THE BUTTONWOOD PARK ZOO, we know that animal enrichment is a key component to animal welfare. Enrichment is one of the most important things our zookeepers do for, and with, our resident animals! The purpose behind enrichment is to stimulate each animal’s natural behavior and provide variety in its daily routine. By offering novel foods, objects, and scents, we encourage our animals to forage, explore and makes choices within their environment. The ultimate goal of our enrichment program is to enhance the welfare of the animals in our care.

WHO GETS ENRICHMENT?
EVERYONE! No matter the size or the species, every animal at the Zoo receives enrichment.

WHY IS ENRICHMENT IMPORTANT?
Part of what zookeepers do is to study the animals under their care so they can give them the best life possible. By understanding each animal’s unique behaviors and its natural history, our staff can create and offer a wide
variety of enrichment activities to encourage and challenge its animal instincts. Enrichment not only provides mental stimulation and exercise, but also offers a more exciting and educational experience for our guests.

HOW OFTEN DO ANIMALS GET ENRICHMENT?
All throughout the day! Of course, the frequency depends on the individual animal as well as the species. Enrichment can be categorized into the following areas: cognitive, sensory, nutritional, physical, and social. Some animals prefer certain types of enrichment, but that doesn’t stop our zookeepers from offering variety and choices.

The Toys for Elephants program, now in its 7th year, is a collaboration between the Buttonwood Park Zoo, Handshouse Studio, and Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The objective is for students to design and create objects and activities that will offer choices and variables for Asian elephants Emily and Ruth. Students work with a biologist and animal trainers to study animal behavior in order to design and produce full-scale functional toys for elephant enrichment.