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Feb 22nd
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Home National & State Parks Grand Canyon Grand Canyon NP to Inaugurate ‘Celebrate Wildlife Day’ on Nov. 1

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon NP to Inaugurate ‘Celebrate Wildlife Day’ on Nov. 1

Also to Honor the Life of Park Biologist Eric York

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Grand Canyon National Park is not only a place of great natural wonder, it's home to a diverse array of wildlife, from mammals such as the mountain lion to the endangered Southwestern willow flycatcher bird.

To help the public become more aware about the canyon's wildlife, and also to recognize the life of biologist Eric York who died in 2007 from plague probably contracted during his field work, Grand Canyon National Park will be hosting its first Celebrate Wildlife Day on Nov. 1, 2008.

Celebrate Wildlife Day actually started with the idea of honoring York, who dedicated his life to the study of wildlife in Grand Canyon National Park and around the world. York was found dead in his Grand Canyon cabin on Nov. 2, 2007. He was 37 years old. The idea od celebrating York's life quickly grew into an event that will provide opportunities to learn about regional wildlife and about the discipline of wildlife biology, a park spokesperson said.

The inaugural event will take place at the Shrine of the Ages from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and 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 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 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-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. Following that at 7:30 p.m., Kevin Hansen will present a talk on mountain lions with book signing to follow.

The Grand Canyon is known for its spectacular geologic landscapes, but many may not realize that the varied landscape provides habitat for a wide variety of plant communities, and therefore, for the animals that rely on those plants for food.

According to Park Superintendent Steve Martin, "Grand Canyon National Park is a living, breathing biological classroom where we have the opportunity to learn from a virtually intact ecosystem." Celebrate Wildlife Day will provide participants with an opportunity to discover the animal communities that call the canyon home and to explore the challenges biologists face trying to study them in such a rugged landscape.

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.

For more information on Celebrate Wildlife Day, call Park Ranger Lori Rome at (928) 638-7783. For a full line up of programs, times and locations, visit the park's web site at www.nps.gov/grca/naturescience/wildlife-day.htm.

For information on Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center, visit www.azwildlifecenter.net; for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, visit www.azgfd.gov; and for the Grand Canyon Association, visit

National & State Parks