Earth Rangers inspires students to be more conservation active

Earth Rangers presenters Kyla Ferguson and Carine Nolet show off a Peregrine Falcon following their May 2 presentation at O.M. Irwin School.

A quartet of animal stars were the centre of attention during a school presentation at O.M. Irwin School on May 2.

During an hour long presentation by the conservation organization Earth Rangers last Thursday, students had an opportunity to get an up close look at an armadillo, a Peregrine Falcon, plus two other animal stars.

The informative hour was delivered through The Earth Rangers School Outreach Program, which aims to inspire students to be more conservation minded.

“It is important because kids have a good connection with animals, and that’s why we have our animal ambassadors with us. And indeed they help to teach the kids about the importance of conservation and biodiversity, and also all of the problems that entail with animals and their habitats,” Earth Ranger Carine Nolet said following the school assembly.

Their message to students was to empower them to adopt sustainable behaviours and take steps to directly help protect animals and their habitats.

“It’s great because we get to have a connection with a lot of the kids and we teach them about all the problems that we’re having.”

The presentation focused on how human activity is impacting the habitats of animals around the world.

“We show a lot of different species just so that we could say it’s not just Canada that we need to protect, but maybe we can all work together as a planet and help all the animals.”

The session also has a conservation message on how families can support wildlife protection initiatives which benefit from animals including the Loggerhead Shrike, the Burrowing Owl and the Black-tailed Prairie Dog.

“When kids decide to do a Bring Back The Wild Program, this is a fund-raising campaign, so they help directly with these projects.”

Swift Current’s presentation was the first during a month long Saskatchewan school tour. The presenters had previously completed a month in British Columbia, and they will wrap up their tour in Winnipeg next month.

The program is delivered to approximately 900 schools across the country each year, and students at participating schools are invited to to visit to become a free member, and they get to be part of specific projects.

Nolet said it is nice to tie in their presentation into an action plan.

“We do have two different things that the kids can do. So they can do the Bring Back The Wild Program which is the fundraising campaign. If they’re not interested in the fund-raising campaign or in the Bring Back The Wild Program, they do have have an option to do missions. So missions, like the Just One Tree, they encourage the kids to just team up with their friends and their family and do things locally. So it would be either to plant a tree, to pick up some garbage to help local rivers and lakes, even to do a lot of things at home like saving energy and changing to all energy saving bulbs. So its all hands-on, things that the students can do in their own hometown, in their own home, with their friends and their family.”

The presentation also showcased of conservation efforts which helped bring the Peregrine Falcon from the brink of extinction in Canada. Their population dwindled because of the impacts of DDT, which resulted in the production of thin shelled eggs which broke while they were being incubated.

“With the help of different projects, with government organizations, with indigenous peoples and also a lot of volunteers, we were able to do a lot of changes and they actually made a full comeback. So instead of being on the endangered species list they’re not of the least concern here in Canada which is amazing.”

“The reason why we do have the Peregrine Falcon is to show kids that there is hope, especially with a big problem like climate change it’s easy to get discouraged,” she explained. “It’s just a hope for the kids that ‘hey, we can actually make a difference’ and bring back all the animals as well. So we do have a focus on the ones here in Saskatchewan.”

“We encourage them to go on to see all of the animals that we have projects with.”