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AWA Tuesday Talk: Disappearing Dunes on the Prairies

Description:
With Dr. Darren BenderStability may be good for economies and families, but it’s bad for sand dunes. Active sand dunes and associated habitats are disappearing across the Canadian prairies. These habitats support diverse com-munities of specialized and rare plants and animals, many of which are at risk of extinction in Canada.In the Middle Sand Hills of Alberta, as much as 90 percent of exposed sand dunes has been vegetated in the last 75 years, and complete stabilization of all dunes is predicted by 2014. Some contributing factors to this change may be shifts in climate, the loss of large grazers, and human land use practices. Land managers have been slow to respond, and these rare habitats, and the wildlife that depend on them, are at serious threat of extinction in Canada.Dr. Bender will summarize what is known about sand dune habitats across the grasslands of Alberta and discuss new research that promises hope for the maintenance and restoration of these habitats.An ecologist and Associate Professor at the University of Calgary, Darren Bender received his Ph.D. in biology from Carleton University in 2000 and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Fishery & Wildlife Biology in Colorado. He has broad research interests in the areas of landscape ecology and wildlife biology. Since 1995, he has been researching the endangered Ord's kangaroo rat, a sand dune specialist species in Alberta. A member of the Alberta Ord's Kangaroo Rat Recovery Team, he has also recently been leading an interdisciplinary research team attempting to develop methods of restoring active sand dune habitats in Canada.Location: AWA Hillhurst Room, 455 – 12 St. NWTime: 7:00 p.m.Cost: $5 per person; $1 for childrenPlease call (403) 283-2025 for reservationsAlberta Wilderness AssociationBox 6398, Station D, Calgary, AB T2P 2E1Phone: (403) 283-2025 Fax: (403) 270-2743Toll free: 1-866-313-0713Email: [email protected]Website: AlbertaWilderness.ca

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