DEM to offer virtual outreach programs this fall
The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Division of Fish and Wildlife is partnering with local public libraries to host a series of virtual outreach programs this fall. The programs are designed to spread awareness of wildlife management and conservation efforts across the state in a fun, interactive setting.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Rhode Islanders to learn about bobcats, bats and turkeys and the interesting research that is happening right in our own backyards,” said DEM Wildlife Outreach Coordinator Mary Gannon. “Although it’s been very different this year because we are not able to run programs in person due to COVID-19 restrictions, we’re reaching a lot of Rhode Islanders by offering virtual programs and information about local wildlife conservation in a fun way!”
Collared bobcat in South Kingstown. Photo credit: R. Saxon
"All About Bobcats" will be presented on Thursday, October 22 at 6:30 p.m. in partnership with the Langworthy Public Library in Hope Valley. Attendees will learn about bobcat natural history and current research efforts in the state. DEM Wildlife Outreach staff will be joined by Amy Gottfried Mayer of the University of Rhode Island's Wildlife Genetics and Ecology Lab (WGEL), who will share tracking and home range data from a recent collaborative bobcat project. DEM has partnered with the WGEL to study genomics and distribution of Rhode Island's bobcat, black bear, New England cottontail, and brook trout populations, through funding provided by the Federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.
On Tuesday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m.– just in time for Halloween – Wildlife Outreach staff will present “Bat Chat,” in partnership with the East Smithfield Public Library. Attendees will participate in bat ‘myth-busting,’ learn about bat research efforts in Rhode Island, and how everyone can get involved to helping these important flying mammals.
Lastly, on Tuesday, November 10 at 6:30 p.m., Wildlife Outreach staff will present “Turkey Talk,” in partnership with the Davisville Free Library in North Kingstown. This program will cover the basics of wild turkey natural history and current population data collection efforts.
All programs are free and family friendly. Registration is required to receive a link to access the program via Zoom. Each program will run for about an hour. Links to the registration forms are listed below.
Bobcat registration link: https://forms.gle/g8dUvQCoMCS5Kdmy8
Bat registration link: https://forms.gle/rL6tEgBmkxNRBoCQ7
Turkey registration link: https://forms.gle/YdFzttWkyPtKhe9w9
For more information on Rhode Island’s wildlife, visit www.dem.ri.gov/wildlifeoutreach. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM and www.facebook.com/RIfishandwildlife, on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), and Instagram (@rhodeisland.dem and @RI.FishandWildlife) for timely updates.