It’s Shark Week! In fact, it’s the 29th year of celebrating shark week. Created by the Discovery Channel in 1988, it is devoted to conservation and correcting misconceptions about sharks. It has become the longest running cable television programming event in history, broadcast in 72 countries.
Nurse Shark photo by: Jessica Woodend
The ocean needs sharks, and we need the ocean. Shark week is a tool to demonstrate the importance of theses large predators to the ecosystems we rely on. We get 50% of our oxygen from the ocean and it’s the role of the sharks to keep it all balanced. In fact, that’s the role of all predators in the environment, keeping all other species from overpopulating and throwing off the balance that nature works very hard to keep.
Chewonki’s Traveling Natural History Program offers a Predator program that travels to schools, libraries, community centers, etc. Now it may not be focused on sharks like Shark Week is, but it does highlight the importance of having predators species around by discussing various animal species. Students explore attitudes toward predators and reasons for their decline throughout history because of habitat loss and human interference. Discussion of current events emphasizes the importance of predators in maintaining the world’s ecological balance. Participants have the opportunity to study mounted animals and see three live, non-releasable predators.
Predator animals are essential to a healthy environment. They deserve to be appreciated every week.
To learn more about Predators: The Balance of Nature, or our other traveling programs check out our site https://tnhp.chewonki.org/