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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Celebrating Endangered Species Day at the Minnesota Zoo

Region 3, June 2, 2014
After a spin of the wheel, Anika Bach (student intern) asks the children questions, then gives each a temporary tattoo of a Minnesota endangered species.
After a spin of the wheel, Anika Bach (student intern) asks the children questions, then gives each a temporary tattoo of a Minnesota endangered species. - Photo Credit: n/a
Located at the start of the Minnesota Trail, we offered activities for kids and tips for conserving frogs, birds, butterflies and bats for adults.  Staffing the display are Kim Mitchell (ES Outreach Coordinator), Anika Bach (student intern) and Jill Utrup (Wisconsin-Minnesota Field Office Endangered Species Coordinator).
Located at the start of the Minnesota Trail, we offered activities for kids and tips for conserving frogs, birds, butterflies and bats for adults. Staffing the display are Kim Mitchell (ES Outreach Coordinator), Anika Bach (student intern) and Jill Utrup (Wisconsin-Minnesota Field Office Endangered Species Coordinator). - Photo Credit: n/a
Jill Utrup (Wisconsin-Minnesota Field Office Endangered Species Coordinator) shows how to fold the nature fortune-teller.
Jill Utrup (Wisconsin-Minnesota Field Office Endangered Species Coordinator) shows how to fold the nature fortune-teller. - Photo Credit: n/a

Families visiting the Service's Endangered Species Day "wheel of fortune" display at the Minnesota Zoo enjoyed a spin of the wheel, a test of their knowledge, a look at their animal nature and endangered species coloring pages. A “wheel of fortune” drew the attention of many folks. Landing slots on the wheel corresponded to age appropriate questions, from “Where do birds lay eggs?” (for pre-schoolers) to “Is the American bison on the endangered species list?” (for high school students). Anyone who answered a question received a temporary tattoo of a listed or candidate species. The choices were massasauga rattlesnake, dwarf lake iris, northern long-eared bat and Karner blue butterfly. The massasauga was by far the most popular. Tying in the “fortune” theme, kids could also make a “fortune teller” that provided a foretelling of their animal nature.

The display's location at the start of the zoo's Minnesota Trail provided an opportunity to increase awareness of Minnesota’s rare fish and wildlife. Many people also enjoyed the Minnesota Trail scavenger hunt we host because it’s an incentive to look at the displays more closely. We also had information about butterfly gardening, bird feeding, building a bat box and visiting Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Staff from the Twin Cities Field Office and the Regional Office Ecological Services and External Affairs programs staffed the display. We estimate that our message reached more than 600 adults and children.

Many of the materials provided at the display were the brain child of Anika Bach, a high school student who interned at the Regional Office for the spring semester as a class requirement. Anika developed the “wheel of fortune” concept, created the fortune teller and also created coloring pages, a word find and a word scramble.

Contact Info: Kim Mitchell, 612/713-5337 , kim_mitchell@fws.gov