Delivering Wildlife-Focused Education Virtually
Santa Fe Public School students birding at Randall Davey Audubon Center in Fall 2019. (Katie Weeks)
What is an “adaptation” and how are birds adapted to different environments and to eat different things? What are the key elements of an animal’s “habitat” and how can you make your own backyard more appealing to wildlife?
In spring 2021, Audubon Southwest used Share with Wildlife funds to modify existing lessons, that address these questions and more, so that they could be delivered in a virtual format to 2nd through 5th grade students in Santa Fe Public Schools. Audubon Southwest normally delivers their multi-lesson Outdoor Field Science curriculum both in person at schools and over the course of two field trips to the Randall Davey Audubon Center (RDAC) in northern Santa Fe. This science curriculum focuses on New Mexico wildlife; their habitats, biology, and conservation; and scientific observation with an emphasis on piñon-juniper habitats and the birds that live in them, such as the pinyon jay. Restrictions associated with COVID-19 required that Audubon Southwest continue to offer distance-learning options for their typically in-person environmental education programming.
Habitat recording worksheet. (Audubon Southwest)
Adapt to Survive workbook. (Audubon Southwest)
Audubon Southwest normally gives students an opportunity to explore and make observations of wildlife habitat elements and wildlife sign in the piñon-juniper woodland at the RDAC. They learn about fundamental ecological and biological concepts including food webs, ecosystems, and animal anatomy and adaptations. They have an opportunity to learn how to look for birds and observe their behavior using binoculars. They also examine skulls and pelts of different animals to learn about the connections between how an animal looks, how they behave, and what they eat.
Pinyon jay. (Mark Watson)
To ensure that students could still receive environmental education while in-person classroom visits and field trips were not possible, Audubon Southwest modified three activities to be virtual field trips and worked with Santa Fe Public Schools to deliver Outdoor Field Studies programs to over 700 students in Santa Fe. The “Backyard Habitat Investigation” virtual field trip has students learn about the concept of a habitat, identify habitat elements and animal sign in their backyard, draw a habitat, and consider what could be done to improve the habitat in their backyard for wildlife. The “Animal Adaptations” virtual field trip has students learn about adaptations; learn about why birds build nests and what they use to build them; and build a bird nest using materials that students find either at home or in their backyard. Audubon Southwest also continues to offer distance learning materials on their website.
Audubon Southwest looks forward to continuing their provision of environmental education to students of Title 1 schools and adapting their wildlife-related educational materials as needed to the evolving educational landscape in New Mexico.
New Mexico wildlife needs your help! Share with Wildlife funds numerous projects related to wildlife habitat enhancement, wildlife-related education, wildlife rehabilitation, and research on wildlife biology and ecology every year. All projects are made possible through donations made by members of the public.
To make a donation, you may donate part of the refund on your state tax return; purchase a Share with Wildlife license plate; make any dollar amount donation online (minimum $2; see more information below); or mail in a check using this donation form. All donated funds go to supporting wildlife; none are used for administrative costs.
If you want your dollars to go even further in supporting non-game wildlife, consider donating to Share with Wildlife and purchasing a Habitat Management Access Validation simultaneously. Click here for more information about donating and here for information on our State Game Commission Lands.
Donations made to the Share with Wildlife program are tax-deductible for both federal and New Mexico state taxes. Please see U.S. Code Title 26. Internal Revenue Code – section 170c – Charitable Contribution Defined for more information. You may wish to further confirm with your tax advisor/preparer.
Thank you for your support of New Mexico’s wildlife!
Share with Wildlife - Donation Form (Word)
Share with Wildlife - Donation Form (PDF)
New Mexico Wildlife License Plate
Download the PDF to support wildlife by ordering the Share with Wildlife license plate. PDF made available from MVD New Mexico. The roadrunner and Rio Grande cutthroat trout plates are only available through the mail. The roadrunner plate was released by MVD October 19th, 2020. It may take several weeks (6-10 or more) to receive your roadrunner or trout plate from MVD.
You can donate to Share with Wildlife through your Online Licensing System account by clicking Customer Login located at the top of this website:
On the Online Licensing System website (shown below) please enter your Username (or Customer ID or Email) and Password, and then click the Login button:
Once you are logged in, if you only wish to donate to Share with Wildlife, click on the Share with Wildlife button on the home page:
Type any dollar amount (minimum $2.00) you wish to donate in the Enter Donation Amount box (shown below) and click Review Order:
Dismiss any pop-up windows (shown below) regarding purchasing other items by clicking the OK button:
Click the Add to Cart button (shown below) at the top of the Review Order page:
On the next screen, click Checkout and continue on to complete your purchase.
Once you are logged in, if you are purchasing other items through the Online Licensing System, go to License Sales | General License Sales from the Main Menu (shown below):
After you read the Terms of Agreement on the next page and click the Continue button, you will see a list of Available Products. Locate the Share with Wildlife Donation product ($10 donation only) OR the Share with Wildlife Extra Donation product ($2.00 minimum donation; type dollar amount in Enter Donation Amount box) and click the check box next to (add to order). Click the Review Order button:
Dismiss any pop-up windows (shown above) regarding purchasing other items by clicking the OK button. Click the Add to Cart button (shown above) at the top of the Review Order page. On the next screen, click Checkout and continue on to complete your purchase.