Celebrate Earth Day with a BioBlitz

The Greensboro Science Center (GSC) is hosting an Earth Day BioBlitz throughout Guilford County on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. This event is free and open to anyone who has access to backyards and/or parks in Guilford County, NC. Please note: The GSC strongly encourages participants using a public space to follow the CDC guidelines for social distancing.

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A BioBlitz is a communal citizen-science effort to record as many plants, animals and other organisms within a designated location and time period as possible. Participants need a smartphone and iNaturalist account. To join the GSC’s Earth Day BioBlitz, select Greensboro Science Center Earth Day BioBlitz 2020 from the Projects menu.

During the designated time (April 22 from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.), participants snap and upload photos to record the biodiversity found in Guilford County.

Courtenay Vass, the GSC’s Community Programs Manager, says, “BioBlitzes are fun ways to engage the public – from young children to experts – to connect to their environment while generating useful data for science and conservation. They’re also a good excuse to explore the great outdoors. We hope that our community members gain a new understanding of scientific practices and their local ecology while connecting with one another through the iNaturalist app. Have fun exploring!”

 

Fishing Kittens Born at the Greensboro Science Center on April 3

The Greensboro Science Center (GSC) is happy to announce that two fishing cats were born on Friday, April 3, 2020. The sex of the kittens is unknown at this time. This is the second litter of kittens born to Mako (male) and Tallulah (female) as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) fishing cat Species Survival Plan (SSP).

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Animal care staff have observed encouraging behaviors from both mom and kittens. Keeper Megan Hankins says, “Mom and kittens are doing well and eating well. Tallulah is very attentive to and protective of her babies and is taking great care of them.”

Keepers will continue to keep their distance from the new family as they settle in. Once Tallulah is comfortable being away from her babies, the GSC’s veterinary team will give the kittens a full exam.

It will be approximately three months before the kittens will be on exhibit – after they are able to easily move around, get in and out of the water, jump and climb.

Fishing cats typically stay with their mother until they reach around nine months of age. Rachael Campbell, Assistant Curator Terrestrial, says, “That is about the time that they would normally disperse on their own in the wild and you will see Tallulah actively trying to push them out at that point. They will not be introduced to Mako again. In the wild they are solitary so males play no role in raising the kittens.”

The GSC will continue to update the public on the kittens’ progress on the organization’s social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Preparing for Winter: Reptiles & Amphibians

The Greensboro Science Center is home to a number of reptiles and amphibians, including four awesome Aldabra tortoises! Although they live at the GSC all year long, during your winter visit, you won’t see these guys out and about in our zoo.

As cold-blooded animals, Aldabra tortoises need warm weather to stay healthy. When temperatures dip below about 60 degrees, they remain inside their blockhouses where the temperature is maintained at a toasty 80 degrees and where they have access to heat lamps and UV lamps.

You probably notice in your very own backyard that you don’t see turtles, snakes, frogs, and the like during winter. Many of these animals hibernate during the colder months. If you see one around as the temperatures begin to cool, the best thing to do is to leave it alone. If the animal is in an unsafe location, you can move it to a brushy area where it can burrow and hide. To help local reptiles and amphibians, you can create brush piles in your yard where they can stay warm and safe through winter!