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‘Ding’ Darling lecture debunks wildlife myths

By Staff | Feb 21, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED Warner Shedd

Myth: Beavers can fell trees in the direction that they desire. Fact: Beavers simply gnaw around a tree until it falls, and occasionally a beaver is killed when a tree falls on it.

It is one wildlife misconception that the book “Owls Aren’t Wise and Bats Aren’t Blind: A Naturalist Debunks Our Favorite Fallacies about Wildlife” corrects. Author Warner Shedd will bring two special slide presentations to the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel on March 1 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. as part of the 2019 lecture series at the J.N. “Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

A former forester with the Vermont Department of Forests and Parks and area resource specialist with the Vermont Extension Service, Shedd became the New England regional executive for the National Wildlife Federation in 1969 and remained in the position for 20 years. In 1990 he began a writing career and has also published “The Kids Wildlife Book” and numerous articles in national and regional magazines.

The author will sign copies of his books, available in the Refuge Nature Store, following the two lectures. Profits from the store’s sales directly benefit refuge wildlife, education and research.

HighTower/Thomas & Swartz Wealth Management sponsors the 11-lecture series with support from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge. The free lectures are held on Fridays through April 12. The remaining schedule is listed below; some include book signings:

– March 8: Yve Morrell, “The Big Year: A First for Women”

– March 15: Jeremy Conrad, “Sea Level Rise: Globally & Locally”

– March 22: Dusty “Wildman” Crum, Robbie and Geoff Roepstorff, and Mike Kirkland, “Pythons: The Hunters, the Science”

– March 29: Marine scientist Lauren Blickley, “Drastic Plastic – Turning the Tide on Plastic Pollution”

– April 5: Ornithologist Dr. Jerry Lorenz, “Flamingos & Spoonbills: Pink Canaries in a Coal Mine”

– April 12: Author Denege Patterson, “Five Islands Never Flooded: A Tour of the Islands of Pine Island Sound, Florida”*

*book signing to follow

Seating for the lectures is limited and available on a first-come basis. Early arrivals can save one seat and one extra one with personal items, then may explore the Visitor & Education Center or Indigo Trail before the lecture starts. Saved seats must be filled 15 minutes before lecture time.

For more information, call 239-472-1100 ext. 241 or visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/lecture-and-film-series. The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is at 1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel.