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Profs and Pints DC presents: “Urban Wildlife 101,” a look at Washington’s ecosystem and the creatures that inhabit it, with John Hadidian, professor of practice at Virginia Tech’s Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability, former director of the Humane Society’s Urban Wildlife Protection Program, and coauthor of Wild Neighbors.
Washington, D.C. ranks as one of the most wildlife-friendly large cities in the country. Along with the more ordinary urban inhabitants, such as the squirrels that abound in Lafayette Park or the raccoons that wade into Rock Creek, it’s home to beavers, deer, coyotes, and other creatures you only expect to see far outside town. Look up and you might spot a barred owl, a great blue heron, or a bald eagle in flight. Look down and you might spot turtles, snakes, or salamanders.
How do such creatures survive—and, in many cases, thrive—in an urban jungle? Join John Hadidian, a biologist who previously has given fascinating and hilarious Profs and Pints lectures on D.C.’s raccoons, for a talk that will open your eyes to the many creatures that live here and give you a sense of how they do it. Taking a holistic ecological approach that ties together all the animals that are part of the urban ecosystem, he’ll give shout-outs to arthropods, soil nematodes, and other “minifauna” and work up from there, giving you a sense of all that crawls, slithers, swims, scampers, or flies around here.
He’ll talk about the conflicts that arise as humans and wildlife interact, but he’ll also discuss the benefits that such interactions bring. He’ll describe how the conservation of urban wildlife is critical to the conservation of wildlife everywhere. And he’ll be donating his proceeds from the talk to City Wildlife, a local nonprofit devoted to wildlife rescue and rehabilitation and about the best friend that an orphaned or injured opossum or hawk ever had. (Advance tickets: $13.50 plus sales tax and processing fees. Doors: $17, or $15 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later.)
Image: Bald eagles on a radio tower near the Anacostia River. Photo by Scott Morgan.