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Tracking Turtles from the Volcanoes of Galapagos to Washington University’s Tyson Research Center and Downtown St. Louis

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 @ 7:30 PM-9:00 PM

Conservation Conversations Series

Featured Speaker: Stephen Blake, Ph.D., Programme Coordinator, Giant Tortoise Project; post-doctoral Researcher, Max Planck Institute of Ornithology; International Volunteer, Charles Darwin Foundation, Galapagos; Adjunct Researcher, Saint Louis Zoo, Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Missouri – St. Louis and School of Environment and Forestry, State University of New York; visiting scientist, Washington University in St. Louis

Dr. Stephen Blake spent the last 20 years working in the tropics as a conservation ecologist; most of that time in the Congo Basin working for the Wildlife Conservation Society in a variety of roles concerned with forest ecosystem management and species conservation, notably forest elephants. In 2007, Dr. Blake had the opportunity to live and work in the Galapagos Islands, and for the past three years he has worked on the movement ecology and conservation of giant Galapagos tortoises. More recently Stephen and colleagues from the Saint Louis Zoo, Washington University, and Forest Park Forever have initiated a study of box turtles in Forest Park and at Tyson Research Center.

Iconic Galapagos tortoises are the world’s largest living terrestrial reptiles and are famous for stimulating Charles Darwin’s early ideas on evolution by natural selection. Despite their fame, the ecology and conservation status of Galapagos tortoises remains remarkably poorly understood.

In this fascinating look at turtles and tortoises, Stephen Blake introduces an applied research programme that seeks to understand the movement ecology of Galapagos tortoises, during which long distance stereotypic seasonal migrations have been documented for the first time. He illustrates efforts to translate applied science into exciting conservation outreach and education for the children of Galapagos – the future stewards of the Islands. And he discusses the parallels between the Galapagos tortoises and box turtles right here in St. Louis, and describes a sister programme to the Galapagos work for conservation, research, and education of turtles that has been piloted in Forest Park and Washington University’s Tyson Research Center.

Location: Saint Louis Zoo Living World Auditorium. Parking is FREE in the Zoo North Lot.

FREE and OPEN to ALL. Adults, teachers, middle and high school students, and the general public are invited to attend. For more information call 314-646-4544 or 314-533-8586. Registration not required.

Conservation Conversations co-sponsor:

Conservation Conversations are underwritten in part through the generous support of Cooper Bussmann.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012
7:30 PM-9:00 PM
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