Monday, April 6, 2015

Eighth trip to Panther Nation

Powell High School AP Environmental Science class spring 2015
Today, I once again visited with the AP Environmental Science class taught by Coach Will Roberts at Powell High School, a.k.a. Panther Nation. It's become a biannual tradition.

We talked about conservation, environmental studies, urban wildlife, book writing and my job at Ijams Nature Center
. Each student had been assigned to read a portion of my two books: Natural Histories and Ghost Birds.

Topics we visited included the biology of freshwater mussels, the Native American uses of passionflower, the marsupial opossum and the recovery of bald eagles. Also of interest were my love of hawks and the new hiking and biking trails in the Knoxville Urban Wilderness: South Loop adjacent to the nature center. Click here for: map.

Eastern coywolf
We also discussed the canids: dogs (Canis familiaris), coyotes (Canis latrans), gray wolves (Canis lupus) and the failed attempt to reintroduce red wolves (Canis rufus) into the Southeast. AND the surprising success of "Eastern" coyotes and their interbreeding with their once sworn enemies—gray wolves. A union that produces hybrids called coywolves (Canis anybody'sguessus)

Nature abhors a vacuum and rushes to fill it. Coywolves are becoming the midsized predator the east has lost through human persecution and a means for nature to control the soaring population of raccoons. 

Best of luck to all of you! Thanks, Coach Roberts. 

Thanks, Karen Suzy.

Click these links for a look back at past visits:

Fall 2014

No comments: