Pelican Island, Florida was the first area of land that the government set aside for the sake of wildlife in 1903. In March of that year, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an executive order establishing Pelican Island as a Federal Bird Reservation; a network of 55 bird reservations and national game preserved for wildlife. Today the program has grown to include 547 National Wildlife Refuges with 3,000 waterfowl protection areas that cover almost 100 million acres under the direction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
National Wildlife Refuge Week celebrates this accomplishment and encourages people to connect with nature through festivals and special events offered October 10-16th, 2010. In addition, there are plenty of opportunities daily to take photographs, watch wildlife, and participate in interpretive programs.
In honor of creating awareness about wildlife, Scotti Cohn’s One Wolf Howls encourages children to ‘spend a year in the world of wolves.’ This adventurous picture book uses the months of the year and numbers 1 through 12 to examine the behavior of wolves in natural settings. Susan Detwiler brings these behaviors to life through realistic illustrations that compliment the rhyming text. For more information and other books that celebrate wildlife, visit sylvandellpublishing.com.
National Wildlife Refuges are within an hour drive of the nearest metropolitan city in most states. To find one nearest you, visit refuges.fws.gov or call 1-800-344-WILD. If you would like to get involved, Defenders of Wildlife and the Wildlife Volunteer Corps offer a variety of opportunities for community involvement pertaining to wildlife conservation in your area.