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LP-A students learn ecology firsthand

On Wednesday, Nov. 30, Lake Park-Audubon High School's environmental science class, with their teachers Katie Eilertson and Wanda Monroe, had the opportunity to visit the Wildlife Science Center in Columbus, Minn.

The class is composed of juniors and seniors who are studying a unit on ecology, specifically wolf ecology and behavior.

The Wildlife Science Center is a non-profit organization that was founded as research facility in 1976, in order to observe and document the physiology and behavior of a captive population of gray wolves. Through its research and educational efforts, the WSC's expertise is often sought by international, national, and regional institutions, regarding the care, handling, breeding, and ecological significance of wolves.

The Center has over 40 wolves in three different subspecies, bears, mountain lions, lynx, coyotes, and other small mammals. Students spent the day touring the facility, covering topics from wildlife biology, animal identification, predator/prey dynamics, wolf pack ecology, and wolf pack behavior.

Among the activities students participated in were a feeding of rabbits to mountain lions, training of a peregrine falcon, howling to the wolves and hearing the wolves howl in return, and learning about the numerous national and international research studies that take place at the center.