(Contenido disponible en Español está marcado abajo)
Today is an important day. It’s Endangered Species Day, a day to learn about endangered species and how to protect them. We’re focusing on some of the endangered species that our scientists work with every single day. You can learn even more about these species on our website.
Meet the spotted turtles!
If you’ve walked through RiverWorks, chances are good that you’ve seen August and October vying for your attention! But did you know that spotted turtles are actually endangered in the state of Illinois? Click here to learn more about them and watch our spotted turtle feeding!
Working with butterflies
Our Judy Istock Butterfly Haven is a great place to learn about all types of exotic butterflies and moths, but what about our native butterflies? Click here to learn all about one of our native species, the regal fritillary, and the work our scientists do with it.
Teaching Tip: Want to learn more about common and not-so common butterflies in Illinois? Click here to watch our chief curator, Doug Taron, talk about butterflies of the American prairie.
See a Blanding’s turtle release!
(Disponible en español)
Blanding’s turtles are one of seven listed turtle species categorized as endangered or threatened in Illinois, and our scientists have been working with them since 2008. A couple of years ago, we filmed our scientists releasing them into the wild! Click here to watch the video.
Teaching Tip: Expand your understanding of threats to young Blanding’s turtles, by modeling their interactions with raccoons. Click here for instructions in both English and Spanish.
Smooth greensnake sighting!
Dr. Allison has been out in the field, and she recently came across her first smooth greensnake of the season! Like many of the animals that rely on Illinois’ once vast prairie land, their habitat is now threatened by human development and changing climate conditions. Click here to learn more about our work with smooth greensnakes.
Guiding Question: What do we know about prairies? What do you notice about the smooth greensnake? How do you think the snake’s appearance would help it in a prairie?
Discover our online exhibit
(Disponible en español)
Teaching Tip: Explore other threatened species by exploring the conservation section of the Nature Museum website. Use the guiding questions from the above handout to guide discussion around those species, too.
Behind the Scenes
Even while the Nature Museum is closed, our staff are working hard to keep our animals happy and healthy. Here’s a fun behind-the-scenes look at Lalainya and Rebecca working in our Blanding’s turtle display tank!