Predator and Prey Brochure: A Collaboration Between Texas Master Naturalists in the El Camino Real Chapter and All Things Wild Rehabilitation, Inc.
(Primary Contributors: Donna Lewis, Cindy Bolch, Joyce Conner, Helen Laughlin, and Carla Conner)
The Texas Master Naturalist mission is to develop a corps of well-educated “Master Volunteers” to provide education, outreach, and service dedicated toward the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities. All members receive training and learn strategies to restore and conserve our local and state indigenous species and habitats.
One of the missions of All Things Wild Rehabilitation, Inc. is to promote respect and compassion for all wildlife through public education and awareness.
Because their missions align, four Texas Master Naturalist members in the El Camino Real Chapter (Milam County) attended a 3-hour training session at All Things Wild (ATW) in 2019. Thereafter, a relationship formed between the two organizations that included the chapter providing supplies and providing release locations for rehabilitated animals.
In 2020 the El Camino Real Chapter and All Things Wild partnered to create a brochure titled “Predator and Prey,” which is geared towards educating the public about some interesting things regarding wildlife, specifically in Milam County. Many of our wildlife creatures are sometimes mistakenly considered pests when actually these animals are quite beneficial to humans and the environment.
This brochure illustrates the interdependence of some of Milam County’s most common mammals through individual descriptions and through a food web. It was designed by graphic artist Carla Conner, an ATW volunteer.
During our research for the brochure we learned new things and gained an even greater appreciation about the included wildlife. For example, we learned that both opossums and skunks are immune to snake venom and that both will eat venomous snakes. We also learned that raccoons do not wash their food, as many people believe. Instead, they will wet their food in their paws to gather sensory information about what they are about to eat. We hope you learn new information from the brochure too.
An online copy of the brochure is included at the end of this article. Look for the hard copy in the fall at your community library and Chamber of Commerce. You will also be able to get copies at the All Things Wild Rehabilitation center. Brochures for members of the chapter will also be available at the Hermit Haus; just let Sue Ann know you want to come get some. You are also welcome to print out a personal copy from this blog.
We hope that knowing more about these amazing wildlife neighbors will lead to more respect and protection of them. Learn and explore the wonderous world of wild animals so that you too can hear “The Call of the Wild.”