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Amphibians such as salamanders are indicator species. They are sensitive to changes in their ecosystem and can alert humans to environmental issues.

Ecosystems are very delicate. We know that if we take too many tuna out of the ocean, it will cause problems in their habitat because everything will go off balance.

It is easier for us to put limits on fishing or hunting but sometimes there are issues we cannot see happening, such as too much acid rain or water pollution in an area.

This is why indicator species are incredibly important to humans. An indicator species is a living thing that tells us something is wrong with a habitat or ecosystem.

Usually they tell us by not growing or surviving. If a certain area all of the sudden do… Keep reading.

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Mulberries grow on the mulberry tree and look similar to blackberries.

Today, I noticed the first buds on the trees. What a refreshing feeling! Although most days it still feels like winter — I continue to rue the day Queen Charlotte saw her shadow — spring is on its way.

With spring comes the best thing of all: free food! We have a grocery store in our backyards, if we know where to look.

Wild edibles are a delicious way to add incredible flavor and nutrients to your meal, from greens for your morning tea or summer salad to the walnuts that top that salad.

My favorite wild edible is the mulberry. These berries grow on the mulberry tree and look similar … Keep reading.

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Marvin Bouknight, Charlotte Nature Museum director, names the Eastern Screech Owl as his favorite Museum resident.

Maybe you can't ask a mother to choose her favorite child, but you can ask a naturalist to choose a favorite animal!

Although we don't play favorites when it comes to caring for the animals that live at Charlotte Nature Museum, certain animals hold a unique appeal for our equally unique staff members.

Marvin Bouknight, director
I have been interested and excited about any and all wildlife as long as I remember. When I was 13 years old, I saw a film in school about owls and became fascinated by them and the ornithologists that were studying them. Knowing that I was interested in birds an… Keep reading.

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A visitor found this crow skull and exchanged it as part of our Nature Trading Project.

Our newest program at Charlotte Nature Museum is our Nature Trading Project.

It has been a lot of fun seeing visitors get excited about the interesting natural materials they find outside. There have been some pretty neat objects brought in.

So how exactly does it work?

Our Coordinator Gail stocked a cart completely full with oddities we found in our Museum, as well as around the grounds. Three times a month, the Trading Post opens for business. You can find out dates and time by looking at our Upcoming Events.

Come in with your object and either start an account to accrue as many poi… Keep reading.

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The groundhog is probably the most commonly known mammal in our region that goes through a true hibernation. Hibernating is what certain animals do to survive extreme weather.

Winter is approaching fast. Many animals have migrated or acquired a thicker coat to prepare for the cold, while others animals are getting ready to hibernate.

What does hibernate mean? Hibernating is what certain animals do to survive extreme weather. It's an interesting adaptation that is a state of inactivity. The animal's heart and breathing rates go down as well as their body temperature. This allows the animal to use very little energy through the cold months.

Why is this beneficial for the animal?

During the winter, food can be very hard to find. It becomes more stressful and d… Keep reading.

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Naturalist Leslie Wilhoit holds a corn snake.

When I tell people I am a naturalist, I usually get weird looks because they aren't entirely sure what that entails.

Whenever I try to explain what exactly I do, it is really hard to put it in words. The easy answer for me is simply, everything. A naturalist's job can incorporate many different things, depending on where you work.

At Charlotte Nature Museum we have three naturalists. We have large programs we are in charge of but on a daily basis we do roughly the same things. For example, I am in charge of public programs, class curriculum and Butterfly Pavilion, but the other naturalists… Keep reading.

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