February 28, 2016 (NER 16-05)
Several popular programs will continue this month at the National Elk Refuge, giving guests an opportunity to learn more about one of America's premier wildlife refuges. The naturalist–led trips are all free of charge, though most require a reservation that can be made by calling (307) 201–5406. Unless otherwise noted, the excursions depart from the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, located at 532 N. Cache Street in Jackson.
Winter naturalists have led a number of driving tours on the Refuge Road this season, focusing on a variety of topics. The next excursion in the series is scheduled for Saturday, March 12, revolving around the theme of migration and change. Reservations are required for the three–hour tour that runs from 1:00–4:00 pm. Participants should dress in layers and plan to make frequent stops to exit the vehicle and enjoy views of the landscape and wildlife. Binoculars, a spotting scope, and guide books will be available for use. The wildlife excursion will repeat on Wednesday, March 16 and Saturday, March 26.
Last month’s well–liked full moon walk will be repeated on Tuesday, March 22. Staff will lead the unique evening program in the Miller Butte area from 7:30 – 9:00 pm, offering a fun, different way to enjoy the Refuge and learn about wildlife management. Parking is limited, so carpooling is recommended. Reservations are required; instructions on where to meet will be provided during the reservation process. Participants are asked to bring a flashlight or headlamp if available and to wear waterproof, sturdy footwear.
Over 1,400 people have enjoyed meeting avian ambassadors from the Teton Raptor Center this winter through the Feathered Fridays program that will continue in March. Visitors learn about the birds as they stand as close as an arm’s length away. Three of the Raptor Center’s residents birds will enhance the weekly informal presentations and can be found with their handlers throughout the Visitor Center on March 4, 11, 18, and 25 from 12:00 – 2:00 pm.
A rotating display in the Visitor Center’s upstairs theater space will feature pronghorns this month. Visitors can learn about the incredible 200–mile migration of the Jackson Hole pronghorn population. The exhibit describes the amazing species, their crucial corridor, and the important work of local conservation organizations to protect this animal.
Sunday guests at the Visitor Center this month will have an opportunity to enhance their tracking skills from 1:00 – 2:00 pm. Naturalists will staff an interactive learning table of tracks and props to learn more about specialized wildlife adaptations. The program will takes place each Sunday on March 6, 13, 20 and 27.
For more information on March programs, including meeting times and locations, please call the Refuge naturalist reservation line at (307) 201–5406.
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Elk aren't the only species of wildlife you may see on the National Elk Refuge.