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Wildlife Speakers

Dr. Arnaud Desbiez, Giant Armadillo Researcher

Free event, RSVP below

Thursday, March 5, 2015, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., speaker begins at 7 p.m.
Brown Education Center at the Houston Zoo

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Ever heard of a Giant Armadillo? Come and hear about what is being done to save this incredible species from extinction.

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The nine-banded armadillo may be designated as the Texas State mammal, but it seems not everything is bigger in Texas, at least not in the case of armadillos. The giant armadillo of South America is the largest of the armadillo species and can reach up to four feet in length and 110 pounds. Although giant armadillos range over much of South America, almost nothing is known about them.

One of the great discoveries of the Giant Armadillo project was the role of these animals as ecosystem engineers (in this case an animal that can create or modify a habitat). Research in the Brazilian Pantanal show that giant armadillo burrows are an important shelter to over 25 species, ranging from tiny lizards to large collared peccaries. Giant armadillo burrows offer an important refuge from the extreme heat (temperature in the deep burrow is a constant 75°F). This is truly a region where many types of wildlife are connected, and due to these interactions the project is now looking closer at other species of armadillos and anteaters as it relates to use of food sources, territory sizes, and parasite and disease transmission.

Join us as we hear about these amazing mammals and how the Houston Zoo is working with partners in Brazil to ensure these animals are safe in the wild!

Peter Blinston, African Painted Dog Researcher

An evening of wine and wild stories of African painted dogs

Friday, April 17, 2015, 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
Brown Education Center at the Houston Zoo

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African Painted Dog researcher Peter Blinston fell in love with these unique dogs while watching documentaries growing up in his native England. He has been working to protect painted dogs for twelve years now and serves as Managing Director for Painted Dog Conservation.

Painted Dog Conservation is based in Zimbabwe and works to save the African painted dogs from extinction through anti-poaching units, rehabilitation of injured dogs, re-introduction of these dogs into the wild, monitoring of various packs, and education of local communities.

Join us for an intimate evening of wine and stories of protecting the endangered African Painted Dogs in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.

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$30 Members. $35 Non-members. All sales final.


Speaker Events Sponsored By

The C.T. Bauer Foundation


Questions about the Call of the Wild Speaker Series? Email conservation@houstonzoo.org