By: Cholla Nicoll, Borderlands Wildlife Preserve Lead Technician
The next time you're out at the Borderlands Wildlife Preserve, swing by the newly updated welcome kiosk! After many zoom meetings and wordsmithing marathons, Borderlands Restoration Network and Wildlife Corridors, LLC are proud to have some exceptional new informational signage at the Preserve's welcome kiosk, including trail maps and brochures,
Like most good things, these signs were a group effort. They could not have been completed without generous donations, hours of volunteer time, and the help and guidance of motivated staff. We hope visitors to the preserve will enjoy the new signs, have lunch or a post hike break at the picnic table, and refill a water bottle from the beautiful mosaic drinking fountain created by the Patagonia Creative Arts Association.
The kiosk signage provide insights into the creation of the preserve, our partners, trail maps, wildlife information, and usage guidelines. The welcome area will continue to grow into a shared space for humans, plants, and wildlife alike. Future plans include additional signage on the back of the kiosk, along with a gentle interpretive nature trail and demonstration garden. As those plans develop, we are hard at work designing new interpretive trail signs for the preserves much loved Smith Canyon Loop Trail.
One of the new interpretive signs will introduce all of the local wild cats known to this region. Wild animals, especially cats, can hide in plain sight giving many of us humans the misconception that they might not be there at all. If we look closely as we hike though, there are signs of these animals just under our feet waiting to be discovered. Learning how to identify wildlife tracks and sign can open the door to a much more interactive experience in nature.
We hope visitors will enjoy the new kiosk and the peace and tranquility of the Borderlands Wildlife Preserve. In the meantime, here is some sign we found including a mountain lion track and a humorous image of a gray fox leaving behind some scat.
If you are interested in learning more about wildlife tracking, my recommended favorite book is Mammal Tracks and Sign: A Guide to North American Species Second Edition authored by Mark Elbroch.
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