Zoo campers learn about wildlife biology!

What are stuffed meerkats doing out in the Sonoran Desert? Helping campers at Reid Park Zoo learn about wildlife biology!

Campers at Reid Park Zoo are getting hands on experience – with the help of some fluffy friends – on how zoos and other conservation institutions help save animals and animal habitats. Kids are learning to use telemetry and conduct field research as part of the continued STEM learning opportunities at Reid Park Zoo.

“During Zoo Camp, our goal is to inform our Zoo Campers about the role Reid Park Zoo plays in protecting wildlife. We also wanted to give them an opportunity to experience what it is like to be a wildlife researcher. We were able to accomplish this through a hands-on activity using telemetry, which is how researchers locate an animal they have released back into the wild after capturing it for study. By being able to follow an animal in this way, researchers can learn more about what territory they are covering and what habitats they are using – which is critical to the survival of these animals,” said Education Supervisor Jennifer Stoddard. “For the kids, this is an invaluable, real experience that really makes STEM education come to life.”

Wildlife Telemetry is a type of technology that helps biologists track and locate wildlife animals. This allows biologists to understand the behaviors of animals, contributing to animal research. Telemetry is also important for wildlife conservation and it makes it possible to document survival, migration patterns, timing and locations of birth and food habits. This type of technology helps biologists observe animals from a distance, diminishing the disturbance to an animal and its surroundings.

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