Frost museum to restore ‘raptor rehab’

Red-shouldered Hawk

Juliane Sunshine/Staff Writer

In an effort to remove invasive vegetation, the Frost Museum of Science will host a restoration event at the Batchelor Environmental Center, a new facility that will focus on animal wildlife.

“The new state-of-the-art facility allows the raptor rehab and animal hospital programs to partner with Florida International University to enhance research and internship opportunities for students and provides homes for animals that have already been acquired for research,” said Fernando Bretos, director of Museum Volunteers for the Environment, in an email to Student Media.

Bretos said the center, which was done in a partnership between the Frost Science Museum and the University, will go through two phases.

“The Batchelor Environmental Center is in phase one right now, this is the phase where we will quarantine fish, such as Mahi Mahi and eagle ray — this is to make sure that the fish are not diseased when they go to the aquarium,” said Bretos. “The second phase will be a community facility where people such as students, can bring injured wildlife. The animal hospital will treat hawks, reptiles and any other Florida wildlife. Most animals will be returned to the wild after they are healed.”

MUVE, working in collaboration with FIU’s School of Environment, Arts and Society is a volunteer based habitat restoration project, that has restored coastal lines and mangroves and will work in restoring the site at the Biscayne Bay.

Students will join forces with volunteers on the banks of the Oleta River in North Miami to begin restoring the land to a native mangrove forest,” wrote Bretos. “Participants will learn about the invasive vegetation, consisting primarily of Burma reed, Australian pine, and Brazilian pepper, and see what conditions are ideal for natural mangroves to thrive in this environment.”

7,500 people have volunteered since 2007 and restored 25 acres of coastal habitat, according to Bretos and he says volunteers will able to “gauge the effects of restoration” by participating in this event.

In order to ensure a healthy environment, South Florida residents first learn about the environmental stresses we face, then get their hands dirty with their peers and make a difference. Volunteers leave behind a living legacy of native habitats that they can visit and enjoy in perpetuity,” wrote Bretos.

Volunteers can sign up through the website or show up on the day of, which is every third Saturday of each month. The Frost Museum of Science is expected to open on May 8, 2017. In the meantime, students or faculty can find out more information on  

Image retrieved from Flickr. 

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