The Detroit Zoological Society will host a presentation by world-renowned polar ecologist and penguin expert Dr. Bill Fraser 6-7:15 p.m. on Sunday, April 10, at the Detroit Zoo’s Ford Education Center.
The presentation, “A Natural Experiment Reveals the Secret World of Gentoo Penguins”, will explore Dr. Fraser’s four decades of research as head of the Polar Oceans Research Group, which operates out of the U.S. Palmer Research Station in Antarctica. Dr. Fraser and his team of scientists and support staff – which this year included DZS staff – have made many discoveries about the Antarctic ecosystem and the impacts of climate change.
The talk is open to the public but, due to limited seating, tickets must be reserved in advance. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at www.detroitzoo.org under “events”. All proceeds will benefit the Polar Oceans Research Group.
The western Antarctica peninsula is one of the fastest-warming regions on Earth, and research on penguin life histories has provided a unique window for understanding the mechanisms through which changes have affected virtually all aspects of Antarctic food webs and sea ice.
The work of the Polar Oceans Research Group is supported by the DZS and the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Fraser has served as an advisor on the development of the Polk Penguin Conservation Center, which opens April 18 at the Detroit Zoo. As the largest facility for penguins in the world, the penguin center features a 326,000-gallon, 25-foot-deep aquatic area where visitors can watch more than 80 penguins of four species explore their habitat. An underwater gallery and two acrylic underwater tunnels provide views as the birds swim, soar and deep-dive – something that is otherwise impossible to see, even in the wild.
The Detroit Zoological Society – a nonprofit organization that operates the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Zoo – is recognized as a leader in conservation, animal welfare and sustainability as well as providing sanctuary for animals in need of rescue. With an annual regional economic impact of more than $100 million, the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak is one of Michigan’s largest paid family attractions, hosting more than 1.4 million visitors annually. Its 125 acres of award-winning naturalistic habitats are home to 2,400 animals representing 255 species. In recognition of its environmental leadership, the Detroit Zoo received the top Green Award from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, and was named Best-Managed Nonprofit by Crain’s Detroit Business. The Belle Isle Nature Zoo sits on a 5-acre site surrounded by undisturbed forested wetlands on Belle Isle State Park in Detroit and provides year-round educational, recreational and environmental conservation opportunities for the community. For hours, prices, directions and other information, call 248-541-5717 or visit www.detroitzoo.org.