Free public lecture series to focus on the Shawangunk Ridge

Peregrine Falcon family in the Trapps. (photo by Joe Bridges)

Peregrine Falcon family in the Trapps. (photo by Joe Bridges)

Secrets of the Shawangunks, the 2014 Shawangunk Ridge Biodiversity Partnership (SRBP) lecture series, kicks off on Feb. 6. The series, sponsored by the SUNY New Paltz biology department, will be held at SUNY New Paltz Lecture Center, Room 102. Lectures are open to the public and free of charge (no advance registration is necessary). This year’s topics include:

• Green Fire, an award-winning documentary film about the work of environmentalist Aldo Leopold, with Mohonk Preserve Director of Conservation Science John Thompson on Feb. 6 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

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• Climbing and Conservation in the Gunks, with Mohonk Preserve Director of Conservation Science John Thompson and Mohonk Preserve Research Associate and climber Joe Bridges on Feb. 13 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

• Northern Saw-whet Owls — Eastern Migration, with Dr. Glenn A. Proudfoot, visiting scholar at Vassar College and Mohonk Preserve Research Associate on Feb. 20 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

• Snakes in the Shawangunks, with Ed McGowan, Director of Science and Trailside Museums and Zoo, Palisades Interstate Park Commission on Feb. 27 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Full program listings are available at https://www.mohonkpreserve.org/events.

“The Shawangunks offer extraordinary opportunities to observe and enjoy nature and wildlife in a spectacular setting,” said Cara Lee, director of The Nature Conservancy’s Shawangunk Ridge Program. “Our speakers will share natural history and research about several of the Shawangunk’s most elusive and compelling species and will offer insights into ongoing conservation practices and philosophy.”

“The Mohonk Preserve is delighted to work with researchers, citizen scientists and recreationists to help protect and support biodiversity in the Shawangunks,” said Glenn Hoagland, executive director of the Preserve. “One of our many success stories is the protection of Peregrine Falcons on the ridge. The presentations in the SRBP lecture series help promote understanding of the importance of the interconnectivity of all species, including humans, in the Shawangunk Mountains region.”