In keeping with tradition, the Putnam Highland Audubon Society’s Annual Dinner is not a stuffy affair, but rather a relaxed, convivial evening highlighted by a talk related to what the group is all about: nature. This year’s affair, which takes place on Saturday, April 9 at the Taconic Outdoor Education Center is no different, as a presentation on beavers is the centerpiece of an evening filled with food, wine and acknowledgements of those who have contributed to the Society. This year the Board of Directors of the Society will honor Ralph Odell, one of their founding Directors. The community is invited to come and enjoy the festivities and the talk. Non-members are welcome.
The dinner is informal and starts with a social hour at 5 p.m., followed by dinner and a presentation on “Beavers: the Come-Back Kids” by Dr. Patrick Thomas, the general curator of the Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society. Beavers, our state mammal, were over-trapped by early settlers for their fur, eliminating them from much of their original range. Through the beaver’s own tenacity, and more enlightened wildlife management policies, they have made a comeback in New York State.
Dr. Thomas has been with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Bronx Zoo since 1979. He is responsible for supervising the care and management of over 4,000 animals from nearly 500 species, and manages a staff of over 130 people. Thomas has worked on field projects throughout the world. Most recently he has worked in South Africa, where he developed techniques to non-invasively collect hair samples from lions, leopards and cheetahs for DNA analyses, and in Argentina. He has also traveled extensively for WCS, leading a team to bring back an orphaned snow leopard cub from the Himalayas of northern Pakistan, and consulting with the Kenya Wildlife Service and Uganda Wildlife Education Center on the redesign of their captive animal facilities in Nairobi and Entebbe.
The Taconic Center’s Highland Lodge is located off of Dennytown Road. Tickets for the dinner and presentation are $35 and reservations are required; please rsvp to [email protected] or phone: P. Kuznia, 845- 265-3773. Checks may be sent to: PHAS, PO Box 292, Cold Spring, NY 10516 by 4/4/11.
The mission of the Putnam Highlands Audubon Society is to preserve and maintain those lands and waters that have been entrusted to our stewardship; to inform and educate the public on issues involving birds, wildlife and the environment; and to encourage membership in the Chapter and participation in its activities.