The Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy (PWC), Schwenksville, will host Heidi Rader, Expedition Research Assistant for the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program, on Wednesday evening, January 23 at 7:30 pm for a presentation on the endangered sea turtles of Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea, West Africa. During the dry season, on the black sand beaches, these marine turtles come ashore to nest as they have done for countless generations. On this special evening, Heidi will share with us the physical characteristics, nesting habits, behavior, diet, and threats to the survival of these gentle animals.
As an Expedition Research Assistant for the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program, an academic partnership between Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA) and Universidad Nacional de Guinea Equatorial (“UNGE”, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea), Heidi first traveled to Bioko Island in 2006 to participate in a three-week expedition working with Ureca villagers collecting sea turtle data. In January 2008, Heidi returned to work with a team of four photographers and a journalist from National Geographic Magazine as they conducted a “RAVE” (Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition) of the biodiversity of Bioko Island. 2011 featured Heidi’s return as a visiting author of the award-wining, Moon Over Bioko, The Sea Turtles of Bioko Island. Together with illustrator Holly Smith, Heidi crafted a fictional account of a young boy who yearns to work to protect the turtles – just like his father. This beautiful story and its conservation message is now being taught in village classrooms throughout Bioko.
An engaging presenter, Heidi provides a vivid account of efforts to save wildlife in a primitive area and insight into its struggle for survival. The Conservancy is located just outside of Schwenksville at the corner of Route 73 and Haldeman Rd. Pre-registration is required. Contact Trudy Phillips, Director for Environmental Education, 610.287.9383 for more information and registration.