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Sunday, May 20, 2012

National Wildlife Refuge Center

  On the way to Bowie Baysox games on route 197 in Laurel I have passed the National Wildlife Refuge Center many times and always thought it would be interesting to visit someday.  Today with the nice weather I decided to make the visit.  The Center has been actively involved in working to save endangered species.
    Among the animals they have worked intensively to save from going extinct is the whooping crane. From just 23 cranes alive in the early 1940's to today over 400 cranes the research done at the Center has greatly reduced the risk of these cranes going extinct.  As the exhibit on extinction showed
that if we continue with the environmental impacts of modern life we could lose 1/2 the current species in 150 years.  Changing habitats and weather are having a dramatic impact on many plants and animals.  The problem with the rapid disappearance of the honey bees is one example of how our activities impact animals.
    Another animal the Center has been actively trying to save is the Bald Eagle.  Once threatened by extinction from the use of DDT it now has been removed from the threatened species list.
  Outside the Center are good examples of the different natural environments in our area.  Above is one of the many wetland areas in the Refuge.
  Above is one of the many lily ponds
    As the exhibit above shows, over 1000 acres of wetlands are lost in the US every day. I will be posting more about the importance of wetland areas around Columbia tomorrow. 

An example of new forest growth with heavy fern growth near the Center

Check out the Center sometime this summer to learn about our changing environment.




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