Biologist Jared Hobbs who received the international Shikar-Safari Conservation Award in 2006 will be the guest speaker at the nature centre banquet April 15.

Scout Island Nature Centre banquet features noted biologist Jared Hobbs

The Williams Lake Field Naturalists invite the public to the 2016 version of their famous annual fundraising banquet, Friday April 15.

The Williams Lake Field Naturalists invite the public to the 2016 version of their famous annual fundraising banquet, Friday April 15 at the St. Andrew’s United Church Hall.

The pre-dinner social starts at 6 p.m., providing plenty of time to catch up with fellow nature-lovers and bid on silent auction items.

While you digest your dinner and Joanne Wright’s legendary desserts, registered professional biologist Jared Hobbs of Victoria will ignite your appreciation of B.C.’s grasslands with his talk and images in his presentation B.C.’.s Grasslands: their beauty and amazing biodiversity.

Hobbs has stood by a rattlesnake den to watch the sun go down, witnessed falcons streak past his tent pitched high on a cliff, and observed the rare spotted owl hunting beneath towering Douglas firs.

Through his work studying species at risk, Hobbs has come to appreciate some of BC’s rarest and most fragile creatures, and in 2006 he received the international Shikar-Safari conservation award for his dedication to the preservation of species and ecosystems.

His wildlife photography has grown into a parallel career, capturing unique images of wildlife in their natural habitats to promote conservation and awareness.

His client base has grown steadily to include, for example, government agencies and environmental groups, and his images have been featured in Canadian Geographic, British Columbia Magazine, scientific journals and a book on spotted owls.

Major stock agencies represent his work, which can also be found at his website

This presentation begins by acquainting people with some basic information about our collective understanding of B.C.’s biodiversity.

B.C.’s diverse terrain and climate create a multitude of niches for species to explore but this diversity presents us with its responsibilities and challenges.

He will touch briefly on what’s been done to date.

Next he will take a closer look at B.C.’s dry-interior ecosystems.

Our visual journey will stimulate your senses and acquaint you with the subtle, understated beauty of these areas.

We will see intimate images of some secretive species and hear first-hand stories of the amazing species that live in our dry interior grasslands.

We will learn about the world’s fastest bird, how salamanders survive in a hot arid environment, how a woodpecker became a flycatcher and why an owl had to learn to live underground.

In short we will hear many fascinating tales of ecological adaptations as we explore B.C.’s dry interior habitats.

Hobbs will share a new perspective by introducing you to these habitats through the eyes of the animals that live there.

You will take away a strong sense of why we should care and why we need to be the voice for wildlife that, without our empathy, may become a ghostly whisper in the wind.

Tickets are available at the Open Book, from Williams Lake Field Naturalist directors and at the Scout Island Nature Centre.

Admission is $40 for adults and $15 for students.

Please get your tickets by Friday, April 8 so that we can tell the United Church caterers how many delicious meals to prepare.

All proceeds help fund educational programming at Scout Island Nature Centre.

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