American Association of Zoo Keepers
"The only way forward, if we are going to improve the quality of the environment, is to get everybody involved."
-Richard Rogers, sustainability architect
We are proud to share the results of our hard work! With our activities and fundraisers, we do our best to help make the world a better place. These projects would not be possible without your support and the dedicated work of our wonderful chapter members. Thank you!
Coastal Cleanup Day - September 2018
Every year RCAAZK participates in Coastal Cleanup Day! This is the world's largest volunteer day to protect the environment. According to the California Coastal Commission, there were 53,073 volunteers in California. Those volunteers picked up 734,606 pounds of litter! We are proud to have participated by picking up about 100 pounds of litter from our local Waterfront Trail. Every little thing counts!
National Zoo Keeper Week - July 2018
This year's theme for National Zoo Keeper Week was teamwork! We had a blast sharing the importance of zoo keeping and all that we're doing to support conservation while eating delicious food that everyone brought. Members also had the opportunity to participate in our Zoo Keeper Olympics!
Earth Hour - March 2018
We celebrated Earth Hour this year with our chapter by playing games and having snacks in the dark. We had a great time along with thousands of other people worldwide, turning of the lights for an hour. We stand united with other global citizens as we demand actions that mitigate climate change. Remember, small actions of individuals add up to big impacts, so turn off your lights when you're not in the room!
Cupcakes for Conservation - February 2018
The Monarch Butterfly Fund is a nonprofit that conserves monarch butterflies in North America through habitat restoration, research, monitoring, education, and support for sustainable community development in monarch habitats in Mexico. They work to protect and improve the fragile lands on which this species depend, particularly the oyamel fir forests on 12 mountaintops in Mexico. We successfully raised $650 for this nonprofit!
The Humboldt Wildlife Care Center (a project of Bird Ally X) is a wildlife rehabilitation center in Bayside, CA. They provide care for injured and orphaned wildlife, returning them to the wild after appropriate treatment. Another critical part of their mission is to promote coexistence with native wildlife through community education and by providing humane solutions to human-wildlife issues experienced by the community. We raised $700 for this nonprofit!
Workshop: Body Condition Scoring - January 2018
After being awarded the Professional Development grant through our chapter, awardees are asked to give a presentation on the knowledge they gained at the conference. Ruth attended the National AAZK conference in DC, earning a certificate in Zoo Nutrition. Ruth Mock and Lucinda Smith co-hosted a workshop on body condition scoring at the Sequoia Park Zoo's barnyard. Body condition scoring is an important tool used for diet management and general health assessments. Members practiced assigning body condition scores to a donkey, chicken, and goat and were given an instructional workbook.
Holiday Craft fundraiser - December 2017
We were feeling creative this year and kept the fun going from our summer Arts for the Animals fundraiser. In addition to the items we created over the summer, we also hand-painted ornaments with animal themes and made wreaths. We sold our unique wares at the annual Adorni Center Holiday Craft Bazaar and raised $225! Thanks for your hard work!
International Crane Foundation donation - October 2017
Hurricane Harvey destroyed the Texas office of the International Whooping Crane non-profit that is working to save the endangered whooping crane from extinction via captive breeding and reintroduction to the wild. Our AAZK chapter donated $200 to hurricane relief efforts to assist in rebuilding this important research facility.
Red Panda Network donation - October 2017
To celebrate International Red Panda Day, our chapter made a $200 donation to the Red Panda Network. The Red Panda Network is an international nonprofit organization that protects wild red pandas in Asia by conducting scientific monitoring of the population, protecting red panda habitat, and offering economic alternatives to locals that don't harm red pandas or their habitats.
International Coastal Cleanup Day - September 2017
Our chapter had another successful Coastal Cleanup Day! Every year, we participate in this world-wide event. Thanks to our amazing team for cleaning up 68 pounds of trash found at the North Jetty in Eureka, CA! We are proud of the environmental stewardship shown by our chapter members. Worldwide, 504,583 people came together to remove 18,399,900 pounds of trash from the world's beaches!
Workshop: Graphic Design - September 2017
We aim to lead professional development workshops each year to elevate everyone's skills in this important profession. For this workshop, Megan Montgomery led a tutorial on a new, intuitive graphic design program so that chapter members would have another useful tool in their toolbox for educational messaging and conservation fundraising. Our chapter ran a contest following the workshop, asking members to create a new Arts for the Animals logo using their new skills. Thanks to Ruth Mock for designing our new logo!
Workshop: Resumes - September 2017
Continuing in our focus on professional development in September, Lindsey Miller and Ruth Mock co-hosted a workshop focused on enhancing resumes. They authored and discussed a checklist of resume advice with attendees. They also reviewed and edited members' resumes. It was a highly successful workshop with a lot of positive feedback, so we aim to offer this workshop regularly.
National Zoo Keeper Week - July 2017
AAZK planned a fun-filled day of activities to celebrate National Zoo Keeper week at the Sequoia Park Zoo!
Our AAZK members who are staff at the zoo held special animal talks and gave presentations demonstrating the skills and passion that are pervasive in this amazing profession! Thank you, zoo keepers!
We had two opportunities for visitors to design and distribute animal enrichment. For instance, some creative children made a VERY fun toilet paper tube tunnel that Striker the Mountain King Snake enjoyed the entire week!
Professional Development Grant - June 2017
Due to successful fundraising efforts this year, we were able to offer two professional development scholarships to our AAZK members. Ruth Mock presented a poster at the National AAZK conference in Washington, D.C. entitled "Creating professional development opportunities for keepers at small, rural facilities." She also enrolled in a certificate course during the conference and earned a certificate in zoo nutrition. Lindsey Miller attended the annual International Association for Avian Trainers and Educators conference in Redding, CA. She completed an animal training workshop with Steve Martin during the conference.
Bowling for Rhinos fundraiser - 2017
We introduced a new Bowling for Rhinos fundraiser in 2017 called Arts for the Animals. The community loved all of the nature-themed crafts that our AAZK members and animal friends helped create. We sold our crafts at Eureka's monthly Arts Alive events all summer.
We were able to raise $1700 for rhino conservation! Thanks to everyone for their support!
One of our new favorite activities was our Kisses for Conservation booth where people could donate $0.25 and get a kiss from one of our favorite canines! It was a huge hit. Thanks to our animal friend Ace for all of the love he showed our community. Our animal friends at the Sequoia Park Zoo also created some hand-made paintings that helped raise money for saving rhino habitat. Our human chapter members designed earrings, soaps, succulent arrangements, magnets, wrist-warmers, face painting activities, and more!
Rummage Sale Fundraiser - April 2017
Thanks to our generous community for your donations to our annual rummage sale! There were a lot of great treasures that were recycled and reused by other community members, helping meet one of our chapter's environmental goals! We were able to raise $2000 to help our chapter meets its conservation, environmental stewardship, professional development, and animal welfare goals this year!
Party for the Planet Palm Oil Education - April 2017
At the Sequoia Park Zoo's annual Party for the Planet celebration, our AAZK chapter talked about a major issue impacting our planet worldwide: unsustainable palm oil agriculture. We gave demos of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's palm oil app and allowed visitors to scan bar codes from sample products at our table. Then, visitors could see which products were produced with sustainable, certified palm oil and which were not. We hoped to inspire visitors to download and utilize the app to make more sustainable shopping choices.
We also hosted a second activity where visitors could decorate light switch covers to remind them to turn off the lights when not in the room. We always like to promote small, achievable actions that our community can make to reduce our environmental impact!
Workshop: Animal Training 101 - February 2017
Lindsey Miller and Ruth Mock co-presented an Animal Training 101 workshop based on their learning experience at the conference they had attended using funds from the 2016 Redwood Coast Professional Development Grant. They attended the ZAA Mid-Year Conference which had a focus in animal training theory and technique. World-renowned force-free animal trainer Barbara Heidenreich led the all-day workshop.
Cupcakes for Conservation - February 2017
Our fifth annual Cupcakes for Conservation fundraiser was so much fun and had a twist: this year, one of our cupcakes represented a special habitat instead of focusing on a certain species! We raised $650 for the Coral Restoration Foundation, a nonprofit ocean conservation organization whose goal is to restore coral reefs throughout the Florida Keys and Caribbean. We also raised $650 for Proyecto Tití, a multi-disciplinary conservation program whose goal is to assist in the long-term preservation of the critically-endangered cotton-top tamarin monkeys in Colombia.
Holiday Craft Fundraiser - December 2016
Boo at the Zoo - October 2016
During the Sequoia Park Zoo's Boo at the Zoo event, our AAZK chapter hosted a Bat Cave where visitors could build their own paper bats. We provided educational material about the function of different bat features and the benefits of supporting bats in our community. Visitors donated $125 to Bat Conservation International through our Bat Cave! Thanks, everyone!
Winos for Rhinos - October 2016
This year was record-breaking for our Winos for Rhinos fundraiser! Through our silent auction and purchases of paired wine flights with cheese and chocolate, we raised $1785 for the Bowling for Rhinos (BFR) campaign! This brings our grand total BFR donation to $4,785 over the years!
This year, we had live music donated by For Folk's Sake (so talented!), games, a silent auction, and paired wine flights with chocolates and cheese. We want to extend a huge thank you to Harvest for donating their space for the event and donating 25% of their proceeds during the event to BFR! Harvest and Crush have been fabulous supporters of our work, and we look forward to a continued collaboration with them for this event. Thanks for an amazing performance by For Folk's Sake. We are very grateful to Cypress Grove Chevre for donating all of the cheese for this event to pair with the tasty and diverse wines at Harvest. Thank you very much to Dick Taylor Chocolates for their discounted chocolates to pair with wines. Everything was delicious!
We had many wonderful donors this year that contributed to our silent auction. and we want to thank them personally: Sequoia Park Zoo Foundation, Crush Wine Bar, Action for Cheetahs, Jerry's Rogue Jets, Far North Climbing Gym, Endless Jewelry Arcata, DL Smith Construction, Godwit Days Birding Festival, Ferndale Reperatory Theatre, Target, Health Sport, Scentsy, Wildberries, International Rhino Foundation, Haley Rader (personal watercolors), Angela Jones (personal pottery pieces and a tour of the HSU marine lab and nearby tide pools), Ann Knight (Nzalamba art piece donation), Jack Mock (personal bike tune-up), Amanda Auston (personal baker and cake decorator), Lindsey Miller (personal animal training lessons), and Ruth Mock (personal screen printing).
National Zoo Keeper Week - July 2016
We had a blast this year during National Zoo Keeper Week! AAZK celebrated by tabling at the Sequoia Park Zoo, discussing important topics with visitors including the zoo keeper's role in conservation (and how you can help!) and animal training and enrichment.
We held a fantastic raffle for a selfie safari around the zoo where the winner accompanied a zoo keeper in three animal enclosures to meet some our of zoo's most celebrated residents.
As a grand finale, we held the infamous Zoo Keeper Olympics! Zoo keepers showed off their skills in an obstacle course-style relay race. Everyone had a good time. The first and second place winners took home the Zoo Keeper Cup and Zoo Keeper Rake! Guests could test their raking skills side-by-side a zoo keeper as well! We aim to continue raising awareness about the amazing work that zoo keepers do for animal conservation and welfare.
Western Lowland Gorilla Conservation Donation - July 2016
Our chapter donated $100 to support Western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) conservation. The research project we chose to support is called the Mbeli Bai Study and is the longest-running study of western lowland gorillas (ongoing since 1995). The research site is managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society - Congo (WCS-Congo) in the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park, Republic of Congo. From a tall observation platform on the edge of a natural forest clearing, scientists study and monitor many large mammals in addition to gorillas including forest elephants, sitatungas (a swamp antelope!), and forest buffalo.
Professional Development Grant - June 2016
Due to successful fundraising efforts this year, we were able to offer two professional development scholarships to our AAZK members. Lindsey Miller and Ruth Mock were awarded grants to attend the Zoological Association of America Mid-year conference in Rhode Island. The conference offered an intensive animal training workshop with Barbara Heidenreich (famous for her force-free animal training techniques) and also discussed working with ambassador animals, primate husbandry, and how to best utilize the ZIMS database that is shared among the majority of accredited zoos. Congratulations!
Brew at the Zoo - May 2016
Our chapter sold our handmade pretzel necklaces at the Sequoia Park Zoo's tenth annual Brew at the Zoo fundraiser. We had a blast! Our proceeds totaled $230. Half of those proceeds were donated to the Sequoia Park Zoo's Conservation Program, and the other half were allocated to our chapter's Conservation Fund, waiting to be donated to the next deserving conservation project we discover!
Party for the Planet - April 2016
This year's Party for the Planet theme at the Sequoia Park Zoo was water. Our AAZK chapter discussed an AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) program focused on Western Pond Turtles. The Sequoia Park Zoo is home to four western pond turtles that were rescued from the illegal pet trade. AAZK offered educational animal encounters and discussed what locals can do to help western pond turtle populations.
Western pond turtles are endangered in Washington and threatened in Oregon. Thanks to the work of zoos like the Oregon Zoo and Woodland Park Zoo, a strong captive breeding program has allowed reintroductions of western pond turtles to our watersheds! This species has grown in numbers from this program. In 1990, only two pond turtle sites were left in Washington. Through this program, six populations have been established! During the same period, more than 1,800 turtles have been head-started and released to these sites. Research shows that an estimated 95 percent of turtles released in the Columbia River Gorge survived their first year.
Rummage Sale Fundraiser - April 2016
Thanks to our Humboldt community for another successful annual rummage sale! This fundraiser is our chapter's major general fundraiser of the year, as most of our fundraisers are held for specific conservation projects. We raised about $2000 which was divided among our conservation fund, professional development fund, enrichment fund, and education fund. Through our conservation fund, we donate money to on-the-ground conservation projects. Our professional development fund supports our annual conference grant. Our enrichment fund allows us to build new enrichment items for the Sequoia Park Zoo animals. The education fund allows us to operate our information kiosk at the Sequoia Park Zoo and develop and print education brochures and flyers.
Oregon Silverspot Butterfly Habitat Restoration - March 2016
We participated in the annual habitat restoration project for the Oregon Silverspot Butterfly (Speyeria zerene hippolyta). Invasive scotch broom shades out violets that are critical for this butterfly's survival, so we spent the day removing scotch broom from an area of its small habitat in Crescent City, CA. We continued working to clear a second patch of scotch broom that we started clearing last year. Organized by Chris Damiani of the Sequoia
Park Zoo's Conservation Advisory Committee, we worked with volunteers from the Tolowa Dunes Stewards, US Fish and Wildlife, and the Sequoia Park Zoo to clear many acres of scotch broom, filling two large dumpsters! Surveys of last year's restoration work showed almost no scotch broom regenerating in those cleared areas, and we saw the native violets growing!
Conservation concerns for this species: This butterfly is very susceptible to extinction due to its patchy distribution. Habitat loss and invasive plant species are huge concerns. The silverspot is isolated to only five sites in Oregon and California, and perhaps only two of those subpopulations are viable. It is critical that what remains of its habitat be conserved and restored!
How you can help: Join our scotch broom bash next year! Keep an eye on our calendar in the spring of 2017.
Edible Landscaping Project - March 2016
Using a generous environmental grant from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), we funded an edible landscaping project at the Sequoia Park Zoo. Sam Polly from Streamline Planning Consultants donated his design plan and time to help with planting. Our AAZK members enjoyed a beautiful, warm day as they worked hard to get the plants in the ground. The plants are small, but they will grow into shrubs and trees.
Conference Presentations - March 2016
Three RC AAZK members gave public presentations to our chapter about their experiences at the conferences they had attended using funds from the 2014 and 2015 Redwood Coast Professional Development Grants! Congratulations and thanks to Natalie, Kelsey, and Kathleen for your inspirational presentations and for sharing the most recent new developments in our field with the group!
Salt River Ecosystem Restoration Project Donation - March 2016
Our chapter was awarded a $2500 grant from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company in 2014 for our local tree planting projects. We donated another $500 to the Humboldt County Resource Conservation District for their Salt River ecosystem restoration project. A few years ago, the Salt River was almost unrecognizable compared with how it looked and functioned 50 years ago. The Humboldt County Resource Conservation District has been doing fantastic work restoring this habitat, and we are happy to support them in planting new vegetation to protect this important wetland area.
Earth Hour Lights Off! Campaign - March 2016
Earth Hour is a global environmental campaign sponsored by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The goal is to unite global citizens to turn off their lights for an hour to bring awareness about climate change.
Sponsored by an Environmental Grant from PG&E, AAZK hosted a table at the Sequoia Park Zoo to talk about Earth Hour. As an activity, guests could design their own light switch covers to remind themselves to conserve energy. Powering down is one easy conservation action we can take to help the planet!
Enrichment Workshop - March 2016
Our chapter designs and builds enrichment to enhance animal care. We had a great experience creating new platform beds for the spider monkeys and red pandas and a really neat new red panda tunnel! A HUGE thanks to Redwood Coast AAZK Members Gary and Sharon Chadwick who purchased a fantastic tool for us to cut fire hose! It is amazing and makes our work go so much faster!
Cupcakes for Conservation - February 2016
This year's Cupcakes for Conservation fundraiser was a big success, selling 116 cupcakes! Thanks to everyone who pre-ordered cupcakes! We created Chilean flamingo toppers and honey bee toppers, raising money for two nonprofits working to save these species. We donated $465 to the Honeybee Conservancy and $375 to the Andean Flamingos Conservation Group/ Conservación de Flamencos Altoandinos (GCFA).
The Honeybee Conservancy is a non-profit organization that raises awareness about the importance of bees and inspires people and communities to act as stewards for bees and their
natural environment. Through research, education, and outreach, they hope to end the decline of bee populations by finding a solution to Colony Collapse Disorder and to inspire individuals and groups to build “bee hive sanctuaries.”
The Andean Flamingos Conservation Group is a non-profit initiative of scientists and conservation specialists whose goal is to protect Andean and Chilean flamingos and their habitats. Through research, monitoring projects, and training and outreach to local communities, students, rangers, and professionals, they aim to promote the value of these important and charismatic species and work towards their conservation.
Ornament Fundraiser - December 2015
During our annual ornament fundraiser, we raised about $350 to help support our chapter's annual projects! Chapter members decorated ornaments with nature themes. In addition to our adorable bulbs, we created felted ornaments and wood burned ornaments. This fundraiser helps support our conservation fund, professional development fund, education fund, and more! Thanks to the Humboldt community for your support!
Lights Off! Conservation Messaging - November 2015
Sponsored by an Environmental Grant from PG&E, AAZK hosted a table at the Sequoia Park Zoo where guests could design their own light switch covers to remind themselves to conserve energy. Powering down is one easy conservation action we can take to help the planet! We used the zoo's free admission day on Veteran's Day to reach hundreds of people.
International Red Panda Day - September 2015
Our Redwood Coast AAZK chapter joined the Sequoia Park Zoo and their Times-Standard sponsor in celebrating Red Panda Day. Our AAZK chapter ran the raffle booth which was one of many fundraisers that day that raised $850 for the Red Panda Network! The Red Panda Network is an international nonprofit organization that protects wild red pandas in Asia by conducting scientific monitoring of the population, protecting red panda habitat, and offering economic alternatives to locals that don't harm red pandas or their habitats.
Blackberry Picking for Enrichment - September 2015
As an animal enrichment project, our chapter went blackberry picking locally in Blue Lake, CA. Many of the zoo animals enjoy blackberries for enrichment food, including the primates, red pandas, and the aviary collection!
International Coastal Cleanup Day - September 2015
As part of the program, participants submit how much garbage they collect. We collected about 40 pounds of trash including food wrappers, clothing, and personal hygiene items!
Winos for Rhinos - September 2015
Our second annual Winos for Rhinos event was a big success! Crush Restaurant and Wine Bar hosted the event and helped us raise $1650 for wild rhino conservation! We had a silent auction, games, live music, free wine glass, and free first glass of South African wine with each entry ticket. The community rallied together to donate a wonderful spread of items for the silent auction. We were very impressed! All proceeds from the silent auction and ticket sales were donated directly to Bowling for Rhinos, a huge nationwide AAZK
fundraiser that is run by volunteers. Every penny donated goes to on-the-ground rhino conservation efforts by Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, International Rhino Foundation, and Action for Cheetahs. Crush generously donated 25% of their proceeds from the night to Bowling for Rhinos as well! Learn more about Bowling for Rhinos and these successful conservation nonprofits on our Winos webpage and the AAZK website.
Professional Development Scholarship - August 2015
In August, two deserving AAZK members were awarded our chapter's professional development scholarships. We offer one $750 scholarship to attend the annual AAZK conference and one $500 scholarship to attend a conference/workshop relevant to the zoo keeping field. Kelsey Kuhn was
awarded the AAZK scholarship, and Kathleen Juliano was awarded a scholarship to attend the Zoological Registrars Association Annual Conference in Tacoma, WA! Congratulations! Pictured is Kelsey Kuhn presenting her poster entitled "Can We All Just Get Along?" at the 2015 AAZK conference in St. Louis.
National Zoo Keeper Week - July 2015
Our AAZK chapter celebrated National Zoo Keeper Week with the community! We talked with guests at the Sequoia Park Zoo about animal enrichment, designing animal diets, what it is like to be a zoo keeper, and how conservation plays a central role in today's zoos.
We had big crowds come to hear zoo keeper talks!
Our chapter also helped raise money for giraffe conservation by participating in the Jeans for Giraffes fundraiser. Old donated jeans are collected and recycled by a textile recycler, and the recyclers pay per pound for those jeans. Money raised from the recyclers are donated to giraffe conservation and research projects.
Our chapter gave donors raffle tickets for each pair of jeans donated, and Sue Leskiw was our lucky winner of a behind-the-scenes otter tour!
On the last day of the week, AAZK hosted a fun social event for the chapter at the Humboldt Crabs baseball game.
Brew at the Zoo Fundraiser - May 2015
During the Sequoia Park Zoo's annual Brew at the Zoo event, our chapter held two very fun fundraisers. We raffled two exciting experiences, a behind-the-scenes otter feeding and a zoo selfie safari! The raffle raised $200, which our chapter donated to the Chacoan Peccary Project (Guyra Paraguay) in Paraguay. Guyra Paraguay partners with the World Land Trust to purchase and protect threatened peccary habitats. Also, AAZK members designed stylish and tasty pretzel necklaces and were able to raise $188 for our chapter. We loved seeing folks all over the event wearing the necklaces!
Photo credit: Chris Smith, Apex Media
Earth Day Education about Rat Poison - April 2015
For Earth Day, the Sequoia Park Zoo unveiled their wonderful new raptor aviary! As part of the zoo's Party for the Planet, AAZK chatted with visitors about how they can protect our beautiful native raptors. Recent research has shown that a huge threat to native predators is rat poison. If a predator eats a rodent that has been poisoned, the predator also dies from the effects of that poison.
AAZK shared FIVE predator-friendly ways to keep rodents out of your home while also helping native raptors get access to your unwanted pests.
Thank you to Raptors are the Solution for their great website full of tips and information!
Rummage Sale Fundraiser - April 2015
One of our biggest annual fundraisers is our AAZK rummage sale. This year, we filled an entire moving truck and five other vehicles with items to sell! Thanks to generous donations from the community, we were able to raise $2028! This fundraiser supports our professional development activities such as attending workshops and conferences so that we can learn the latest, most advanced techniques for high quality animal care. These funds are also used to support various conservation projects throughout the year. We want to extend a huge THANKS to the Boys & Girls Club of the Redwoods for allowing us to hold the fundraiser in their parking lot!
Animals Asia Foundation Donation - April 2015
Thanks to winning the National AAZK membership drive in December 2014, we reallocated money intended to pay AAZK recharter fees and instead donated $300 to the Animals Asia Foundation!
More than 12,000 bears are kept on bile farms in China and Vietnam. The bears are milked regularly for their bile, which is used in traditional medicine.
It's an invasive, painful process with huge animal welfare concerns. Animals Asia works to shut down these bile farms by 1) operating bear sanctuaries for rescued bears, 2) educating the public and policy-makers about the issues associated with these medicines, 3) closely monitoring the bile trade, and 4) funding research on wild bear populations in Asia. We thank them for the important work that they do!
Salt River Ecosystem Restoration Project Donation - April 2015
Our chapter was awarded a $2500 grant from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company in 2014 for our local tree planting projects. Most of this grant will be spent on a habitat restoration project involving our chapter members; however, at the Sequoia Park Zoo's Conservation Lecture Series, we learned about a highly effective, local conservation project in Ferndale that we wanted to support, too!
We donated $500 to the Humboldt County Resource Conservation District for their Salt River ecosystem restoration project. A few years ago, the Salt River was almost unrecognizable compared with how it looked and functioned 50 years ago. The Humboldt County Resource Conservation District has been doing fantastic work restoring this habitat, and we are happy to support them in planting new vegetation to protect this important wetland area.
Butterfly Habitat Restoration - March 2015
We participated in a habitat restoration project for the Oregon Silverspot Butterfly (Speyeria zerene hippolyta). Invasive scotch broom shades out violets that are critical for this butterfly's survival, so we spent the day removing scotch broom from two patches of its small habitat in Crescent City, CA. We worked with other friendly and energetic volunteers from the Tolowa Dunes Stewards, US Fish and Wildlife, and the Sequoia Park Zoo, clearing about 5 acres of scotch broom. Together, 28 volunteers were able to fill an entire dumpster with broom! Thanks to Chris Damiani for organizing the AAZK and Zoo volunteers for this event!
This butterfly is very susceptible to extinction due to its patchy distribution. Habitat loss and invasive plant species are huge concerns. The silverspot is isolated to only five sites in Oregon and California, and perhaps only two of those subpopulations are viable. It is critical that what remains of its habitat be conserved and restored!
How you can help: Join our next scotch broom bash! Keep an eye on our calendar - it happens every March!
Enrichment Design for Zoo Animals - March 2015
Our chapter got together to design new enrichment items for the Sequoia Park Zoo animals! We built a fire hose ball, which the bush dogs have loved! They enjoy playing tug-of-war with it. We also built a bucket puzzle feeder for the hoof stock and bottle puzzle feeders (spin-a-jugs) for the primates and peccaries. They have been a big hit!
Cupcakes for Conservation Fundraiser Donations -
This was our most successful Cupcakes for Conservation fundraiser yet! Our supporters purchased 150 of our handmade cupcakes topped with edible fondant representations of two endangered species. We raised $450 for the IUCN Pangolin Specialist Group (working with pangolins) and $450 for the Ventana Wildlife Society (working with California condors). These on-the-ground projects work directly with these endangered animals to protect them from extinction. We appreciate and support their ongoing efforts!