Watchable Wildlife

Get ready for spring with a fun and informative presentation on the Arizona Watchable Wildlife Experience, a new collaborative project to bring watchable wildlife opportunities to Flagstaff. Jessica Gist, Wildlife Biologist from Arizona Game & Fish, will speak on behalf of the partnership group, Arizona Wildlife Federation, City of Flagstaff, Coconino County, the Forest Service, and AG&F at the Mar. 15(Flagstaff) and Mar. 21(Sedona) meetings. The Project’s mission is to promote wildlife viewing by improving wildlife habitat, providing facilities to make viewing easier, creating guides and maps, developing programming and education, and most importantly by building partnerships with local community groups – like Northern Arizona Audubon Society!

Gist’s talk will help you find watchable wildlife sites near you, make the most of them, and increase your chances of spotting wildlife and their signs. We’ll take a virtual tour to some of our favorite spots (and some of NAAS’, too), looking for wildlife of all kinds. Flagstaff’s diverse ecosystems are home to songbirds, elk, pronghorn, eagles, prairie dogs, and so many more species. Arizona’s Watchable Wildlife Experience, or AWWE, invites you to learn more about them by exploring the rich natural resources we have in this community.  

The talk also will give us a chance to discuss opportunities for working together. NAAS has provided a great deal of groundwork for AWWE, identifying Important Bird Areas and Bird Sanctuaries, developing bird lists, and doing hands-on restoration to bring birds to these sites. We want your ideas for future partnerships to continue building AWWE. There is no end to the great work we can do!

Gist has extensive field experience working with peregrine falcons, northern spotted owls, northern goshawks, badgers, Sonoran pronghorn, Abert’s squirrel, and songbirds in California and Arizona. In her current position at Game & Fish’s Flagstaff Region, she works on landscape scale habitat conservation, restoration, and proactive planning. Drawing on her teaching background, Jessica is becoming increasingly involved in environmental education efforts, like AWWE, the topic of this month’s talk.