Visiting the zoo opens our eyes to the incredible diversity of life on our planet. When you return home, do you ever wonder what kinds of animals are native to your area? Do you wish you could see them up close and learn more about them?
It may surprise you to learn that the Minnesota Zoo is seated on 485 acres of property, over half of which is undeveloped wildlife habitat! This natural area provides a rich resource for discovering native wildlife, which can be found throughout the diverse habitats on our grounds. We even have some regionally rarer habitats on Zoo site, including vernal pools, sedge meadows, and northern rich fens! Sound pretty exciting? You’re in luck – a new program in the Conservation Department is bringing this resource to you!
Led by Katie Talbott, the project aims to document the wildlife living Zoo property through field surveys and conservation research; share these discoveries by using wildlife photography, social media, and interpretive programming; and provide tools for others to discover, understand, and celebrate biodiversity in their own lives! We plan to use this project to engage people of different ages and backgrounds to learn about and appreciate Minnesota’s native wildlife.
We will be offering opportunities for people to participate in the project on site – keep an eye on the Zoo’s website for details! In the meantime, be sure to join the BioDiscovery Project’s new Facebook community, where you can enjoy awesome wildlife photos and updates from our field work. College students looking for an internship with the BioDiscovery Project can also find additional information and an application here.