Celebrate EXTRA-Ordinary Wildlife During National Wildlife Week, March 19-25, 2012

Explore the outdoors and search for wildlife near where you live

03-19-2012 // Mary Burnette

What do the bull shark, wood frog, rhinoceros beetle and pronghorn have in common? They all perform some amazing feats which is why they were selected to be featured during National Wildlife Week, March 19-25. The theme for the week this year is EXTRA-Ordinary Wildlife and will celebrate wildlife and their incredible talents.

Since 1938, National Wildlife Week has been a time to learn about wildlife and nature. This year, children, youth and adults are taking time to explore wildlife through five different lenses (innovative defenses, record breakers, super senses, survive in unusual habitats, and special adaptation). Forty-five wildlife species including plants will be highlighted. The bull shark for example can survive in both fresh and salt water. The wood frog freezes during the winter, then thaws in the spring to mate. The rhinoceros beetle can support 850 times its body weight. The pronghorn is the fastest US mammal, clocking over fifty miles per hour.

National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is providing a host of resources to explore these amazing wildlife species, including individual species trading cards, lessons and activities, videos, articles and webinars. Service projects from planting trees to restoring habitat to hosting a wildlife fair are being planned across the county. Visit www.nwf.org/nationalwildlifeweek to learn more and explore the resources available to help plan your adventure with wildlife. While not everyone has a rhinoceros beetle in their backyard, NWF encourages everyone to check out the wildlife in their community. NWF’s Wildlife Watch can help you identify the wildlife that calls your neck of the woods home. You can even share pictures of the wildlife you spot, www.nwf.org/wildlifewatch.

“National Wildlife Week provides a week-long adventure to learn about the diverse species that live around us and what amazing skills they have,” said Eliza Russell, Director of Education for NWF. This week is also a kick-off for students and adults to give back and help the wildlife in their community by planning a spring project. “We all can do something to help, it starts by planting one tree or recycling one can. Pledge to take that first step during National Wildlife Week 2012.” The week also provides an opportunity for people to help NWF in its wildlife conservation work by making a donation to the organization on the Wildlife Week web site.

National Wildlife Week was first observed in 1938 under the name “National Wildlife Restoration Week”. Past spokespeople of National Wildlife Week include Walt Disney, Shirley Temple, and Robert Redford.

Founded in 1936, National Wildlife Federation’s mission is to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future. The organization is currently developing programs to counteract today’s “indoor childhood” by encouraging parents and other caring adults to help children spend more time outdoors everyday discovering the wonders of nature. Fun outdoor activities can be found at www.beoutthere.org

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