CAT AWARE SCHOOL PROGRAMS
The core of BAPP's efforts to inform our communities about pumas and local ecosystems is a set of environmental education programs for middle schools and high schools throughout the Bay Area. Called 'CAT Aware', these innovative programs teach students about:
· the balance and healthy functioning of natural habitats
· the central role of pumas in the local ecology
· the effects of human expansion on these ecosystems
· the larger environmental issues that these trends raise
The program focuses on the charismatic puma as keystone species, in order to convey both the richness of the natural world and the growing damage being done to it by human activities, and to make a powerful impression about the need to preserve habitats and foster healthy co-existence between humans and wildlife.
The CAT Aware Education Program:
· LIVE PRESENTATION: A live presentation by Felidae's Executive Director or Felidae Staff using slides, photos, video and personal stories to provide an engaging introduction to the biology, ecology, research and human impact on our region's keystone predator
· SCIENCE LAB: A hands-on science lab focusing on predator-prey interactions and the effects of human encroachment on the natural balance (see science lab doc); there will also be a separate online version of this lab that runs as a predator-prey population simulator
· FIELD TRIP: An optional field trip to puma habitat to experience real wildlife science with biologists studying wild pumas, including seeing signs of pumas in the forest (tracks, scratches, scat) and tracking actual pumas by radio telemetry
· INTERACTIVE WEB PORTAL: a project website for the Bay Area Puma Project that provides interactive tracking maps, community discussion forums, researcher blogs, photos and videos of study cats, etc.
· ONLINE EDUCATIONAL GAME: an online game called PumaTrackers that uses real tracking data to engage players and provide a personal connection to issues of habitat loss and fragmentation
To learn more about bringing CAT Aware to your school, email firstname.lastname@example.org