by Kristen Tovar
This fall is the first semester for the brand new UNLV Audubon Student Conservation Chapter! So far there are 32 members, and despite starting the club in a semester that has been quite different, with hurdles like social gathering restrictions, the chapter has found ways to engage the community. They meet every Thursday at 8 AM for weekly on-campus bird walks, where Andrea Wirth, Kristen Tovar, Doug Chang and Paul Rodriguez, have taught students how to identify birds. One student, Alicia, said she identifies birds in her backyard now, in between virtual classes and studying.
The weekly event almost didn't happen due to covid restrictions, but the UNLV council decided to approve bird walks right before the semester started, as long as students followed university guidelines. Most of the students are brand new birders and are having fun learning how to identify birds on campus. This fall Some species they've seen on campus include the Roadrunner, Inca Dove, Wilson's Warbler, Northern Harrier and Red-breasted Nuthatch. Every month students are invited to a field trip with a RRAS member to a local birding hotspot. In September we went to Deer Creek with Zane Marshall, and this month we checked out Corn Creek with Alex Harper.
Kristen Tovar, the president of UNLV Audubon has also initiated a plan to start a pollinator garden on the UNLV campus. This is a group project for the students and the new chapter welcomes any contribution from UNLV students interested in architecture or plant and animal ecology. We hope the garden can be a gathering spot, not just for birds and native pollinator insects, but also for students.
Check out their Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/UNLVAudubon and Instagram @UNLVAudubon
photos courtesy of UNLV social media