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World Turtle Day event for local students

By Signal Star staff,
Goderich Signal Star,
May 24 2017

Students from the Exeter area learned how to protect turtles and other species by taking part in a World Turtle Day extravaganza.

The education experience took place at Morrison Dam Conservation Area, east of Exeter on May 23.

The program celebrating international Day for Biological Diversity, was made possible due to funding from the Biodiversity and Education Awareness Network (BEAN). The $500 grant supported this learning event, which was delivered by Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) in partnership with the Huron Stewardship Council (HSC).

"We are very excited that BEAN is providing this support for education about protecting local species in the watershed," said Denise Iszczuk, Conservation Ecucator with Ausable Bayfield Conservation.

"The education of youth is important for conserving Ontario's diverse species of plants and animals."

As part of the event, HSC had live animals to assist in active learning and understanding of local reptiles and amphibians including the diverse habitat requirements and the diversity of species.

"We want to provide local students with a meaningful outdoor experience to learn about their local reptiles and amphibians," said Jory Mullen, Lead Species At Risk Technician with HSC.

"Developing a connection to the local environment will help students to regard biodiversity with a new perspective."

Students found out, first hand, how knowledge and science go together. After learning about the species, students used their new knowledge to act as citizen scientist and find a record sighting of reptiles and amphibians at Morrison Dam Conservation Area.

To record sightings, students learned how to use the newly updated Ontario Reptile and Amphibians Atlas phone application.

These days, almost everyone seems to have a mobile phone with them event while walking or hiking in the outdoors.

Using this kind of technology to report sightings is quick and easy now for many people.

To learn more about this 'app' visit: ontarionature.org/protect/species/app.php The United Nations proclaimed may 22 as International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.

The Biodiversity Education and Awareness Network helps people in Ontario to make positive changes for the benefit of diverse species of animals and plants.

This network supports education and practical actions to recover and prevent the loss of biodiversity in the Province of Ontario.

It does so by connecting scientists and governments with teachers, parents, guardians and students.

The network helps to create awareness by offering education through BEAN-approved lesson plans and other work.

Ontario's Biodiversity Strategy led to the creation of BEAN. A statement from the BEAN Network thanked the Ausable Bayfield Conservation "for your ongoing efforts to inspire and empower people to protect biodiversity."

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