Bon Voyage!

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Hello Explorers! I don’t know about you, but I’ve already had quite a busy summer. I would tell you all about it now, but there’s no time! I’m repacking my suitcase and leaving tomorrow to go on a tour of the Caribbean. This is not your typical beach getaway, though. This is a conservation mission!

Click the image above to see a larger map of my Caribbean route!
(Photo Credit: GoogleMaps)

First I’ll head to the tiny island of Anegada, in the British Virgin Islands, with a Fort Worth Zoo conservation biologist. We’re on a quest to save the Anegada iguana. It’s a critically endangered species; only 300-400 remain in the wild. This July we’ll spend a few weeks walking all over the island in search of iguana nests. In October we’ll return to rescue hatchlings from the nests we found and take them to the headstart facility on the island.

Next on my Caribbean itinerary is a visit to the island of Jamaica. I’m going with quite a crowd, including the Fort Worth Zoo director, two teachers who attended training at the Zoo’s Museum of Living Art (MOLA), and the Zoo’s director of education. We have one main goal: keep Jamaica beautiful. We’ll be doing a lot of beach clean-up and other activities to help conserve the island’s natural habitats.

I’ll end my trip in Puerto Rico, home of the Puerto Rican crested toad. There a fellow Zoo employee and I are joining other conservationists working to bring the Puerto Rican crested toad back from an extinction scare. The last time I was in Puerto Rico was in May of last year to help build a crested toad breeding pond. I can’t wait to return and check on my hoppy friends!

Stay tuned to hear about these adventures and many more. I’ll certainly have lots of stories to share. Hope you’re all enjoying summer and doing your part as a steward of the land! Happy exploring!

VOCAB

Conservation: (noun) the careful use of a natural resource so we can enjoy it now and have enough of it to enjoy in the future.
Critically endangered: (noun) the highest level of risk awarded to an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, critically endangered species population numbers have decreased or will decrease by 80% within 3 generations
Extinction: (noun) a coming to an end or dying out
Habitat: (noun) the natural environment of an organism
Head-start: (verb) to bring eggs or recently born young into captivity so they can mature, they are later re-released back into the wild when they are larger and more likely to survive
Itinerary: (noun) a plan for a journey
Steward (of the land): (noun) a person who is motivated to take an active role in caring for the land not just for personal gain, but to benefit future generations, society in general, and the land itself

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