HCT Sponsors Winter Series Of Conservation Talks

By: Contributed

Red fox.  SARAH E. DEVLIN PHOTO

HARWICH – This winter, the Harwich Conservation Trust will sponsor a series of presentations at the community center. There is no cost to attend, but a suggested donation of $5 will be accepted. 

On Saturday, Jan. 4 at 2 p.m. learn about “Fishers: Biology and Behavior” with Jason E. Zimmer, District Supervisor of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Southeast Wildlife District. The fisher (Martes pennanti) is a secretive mammal living locally. Sometimes people call it a “fisher cat,” but it’s actually not a member of the feline family. Learn the difference between fisher facts and fiction while exploring this unique mammal’s natural history including reproductive biology, food habits, habitat use, and more. Zimmer will share the history of fisher presence in Massachusetts and review their extirpation from and eventual return to as well as recovery in the state. Zimmer will also offer some basic advice on living with your wild neighbors.

On Saturday, Jan. 11 at 2 p.m.  naturalist, author and science teacher Peter Trull will talk about “Why We Preserve Wild Places and Who Lives There.” Gain a wider awareness and appreciation of the foraging, nesting, and habits of selected species as well as the importance of land preservation from Trull, who has been studying and teaching about Cape Cod ecology for more than 40 years. 

On Saturday, Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. listen to whales and learn about their natural history at a presentation by Salvatore Cerchio, Ph.D, director of Omura's Whale Project off Madagascar and visiting scientist at the New England Aquarium. 

On Saturday, Feb. 8 at 2 p.m. “Marine Micro-plastics: A Complex and Emerging Issue” will be discussed in a presentation by Mark Hahn, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI). Scientists estimate that eight million tons of plastic enter our oceans every year, yet only a small fraction is visible at the surface. Over time, sunlight, salt, and wave action break up larger plastics into ever smaller pieces. Marine micro-plastics are ubiquitous fragments of degraded plastic less than 5 mm in diameter. WHOI scientists and their research partners are studying the environmental fate of these plastics. Hahn will focus his talk on WHOI's interdisciplinary investigation of these particles to better understand the fate of micro-plastics drifting through the ocean, gauging their impacts on marine life and human health, and engineering new technological solutions needed to push the science forward.

On Saturday, Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. enjoy “Local Butterflies and Butterfly Gardening Tips,” a presentation by Joe Dwelly of the Massachusetts Butterfly Club. Dwelly will focus on the local diversity of butterflies that can be found in Harwich. In particular, learn about the butterflies that inhabit town-owned conservation Thompson’s Field, where Dwelly has documented 50 different species, including some unique and rare butterflies. Explore the relationship of butterflies to plants and learn helpful gardening tips that can attract butterflies to your own backyard.

On Saturday, Feb. 29 at 2 p.m. “Seals and Society” will be the title of a presentation by Andrea Bogomolni, Ph.D., chair of the Northwest Atlantic Seal Research Consortium. The relationship between seals and humans extends back thousands of years on Cape Cod and throughout the Gulf of Maine. Despite this, our understanding of the natural history, ecology, and role that seals play in our complex ecosystems is still growing. Learn our current understandings, common misperceptions, and what more we need to know.

On Saturday, March 7 two programs will be held. At 11 a.m., the 14th annual Live Owl Program, Owls from Near and Far, will take place. Marcia and Mark Wilson return with their live owls, including great-horned, snowy, barred, screech, and saw-whet owls as well as a spectacled owl from South America and Eurasian eagle owl, the largest owl species in the world. Reserve tickets online at www.harwichconservationtrust.org. 

On the same day, from noon to 3 p.m. the 11th annual “Meet Your Local Farmers” event, cohosted by HCT and the Cape and Islands Farm Bureau. Kick off the 2020 growing season, meet local farmers from across Cape Cod and learn about locally grown products. See the sprouting list of farm exhibitors as well as event details at www.harwichconservationtrust.org. 

HCT Sponsors Winter Series Of Conservation Talks