Grand Canyon National Park to Host "Celebrate Wildlife Day" in November

Desert bighorn sheep, one the Grand Canyon’s most charismatic wildlife species. NPS photo archives.

On November 1, 2008, Grand Canyon National Park will host its first Celebrate Wildlife Day, a day dedicated to learning about the unique and varied wildlife that make this spectacular landscape their home.

Celebrate Wildlife Day started with the idea of honoring the work of biologist Eric York (1970-2007), who dedicated his life to the study of wildlife in Grand Canyon National Park and around the world. That idea quickly grew into an event that will provide opportunities to learn about regional wildlife and about the discipline of wildlife biology.

The event will take place at the Shrine of the Ages on the park's South Rim from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Well known as the site of the annual Grand Canyon Music Festival, which celebrated its 25th season this year, Shrine of the Ages is an excellent venue for an event of this type.

Celebrate Wildlife Day will include an all-day open house with exhibits, touch tables, informal activities and book sales, as well as programs about wildlife and wildlife biology.

Indoor programs will include talks on bats, condors and mountain lions. Outdoor programs will include workshops on tracks and scat and birds of prey. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. there will also be educational demonstrations with live animals provided by the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center. In addition, there will be special evening programs, including a presentation by New Mexico State Parks’ Kevin Hansen, an interpretive ranger, wildlife biologist and author of Cougar: The American Lion .

At 7 p.m., the students of Grand Canyon Unified School District will honor Grand Canyon’s wildlife with a special presentation of their own design. At 7:30 p.m., Kevin Hansen will present a talk on mountain lions with book signing to follow.

Celebrate Wildlife Day is being made possible through a partnership between the National Park Service, Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center, the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Grand Canyon Association. A full lineup of programs, times and locations for the event is available on the park’s web site.