Oregon Zoo Doo – Free fertilizer for your garden!

(c) Oregon Zoo

This isn’t related to animal conservation per se but since it’s gardening season and I’m associated with the Oregon Zoo I thought it would be great to plug OZ’s Zoo Doo program.

Basically the zoo composts the ungulate feces, hay, and excess organic mater into awesomeness.  It makes excellent fertilizer for gardens (trust me we just put some on ours and this stuff is pretty high quality), and the best part is, it’s free!

Basically, call  503-226-1561 ext. 5133 the day before pickup and let them know what time you’ll be coming in, how much you want, and whether you need help to load (they have a tractor to load trailers if you want to get a LOT).  You pick it up at Gate A – the first right you come to when you’re heading to the zoo off of the 26 exit.

Did I mention it’s FREE?!


New Oceana study finds astonishingly high by-catch in US fisheries

sea turtles in net

As we were gearing up for the next PDXSeafood season (hiring new interns and planning our outreach activities) we came across Oceana’s new by-catch report.   It’s pretty alarming and the estimates for US by-catch is sobering to say the least:

United States fisheries discard about 17 percent to 22 percent of everything they catch every year. That amounts to a whopping 2 billion pounds of annual by-catch

They also report that these numbers are likely underestimates of the actual by-catch as most is discarded prior to being reported in port and only included data for 1/3 of US fisheries.   We hope that as you read through the report you remember our program and others like it that are trying to effect change immediately through YOU, the consumers of seafood.  Help spread the word and get your local restaurant on board with our program!


Sometimes we just have to share awesome animal stories . . .

Animals amaze me every single day and stories I hear at the zoo sometimes blow me away with an animal’s intense concentration to detail, forward thinking, or surprising humanism.  This is one of those stories . . .

NatGeo Leopard Seal

I just read on National Geographic that one of their photographers had an encounter with a leopard seal in the waters of Antarctica.  At first Paul Nicklen thought the seal was going to attack him but then the most surprising thing happened:

But instead of harming him, the seal began to “nurture” him. It began to bring him penguins, first alive, then dead, perhaps assuming that he was a “useless predator in her ocean.”


Watch the short video clip here.



Preparing For an Overseas Trip

courtesy of travel-direct.com

courtesy of travel-direct.com

With our China trip just around the corner, we have nearly everything prepared. Even though we don’t leave for a month, it’s best to check items off of your to-do-list as soon as possible. Here is a condensed version of what needs to be done- Continue reading

Returning to China in April

To See Where We're Headed, Find the Panda. courtesy of chinadiscovery.com

To See Where We’re Headed, Find the Panda.
courtesy of chinadiscovery.com

We will be returning to China beginning April 12th. Although this trip will not be nearly as long as our previous visits, we hope to accomplish much. We regret not being able to devote more time to our travels, but 2014 seems to be the year to wrap up all of our projects- Mate Choice, Mercury, Publications, & Organizing Future Studies. The main item on our agenda while in Ya’an is to send off our collection of Panda feces for hormone analysis… Stinky, yet important. Additionally, we need to maintain our relationship with the CCRCGP in order to establish future projects, which means that we will once again be offering internships- Slated to begin late this year or early 2015.


Only YOU can prevent overfishing

comment card pic

This is a call to action for all Portlanders!  Go download our restaurant recruitment cards and start leaving them at all your favorite seafood restaurants.  Our goal is to get 10 new restaurants on board by the end of May!!

. . .  Maybe you all can make it 50 or 100!



A Little Taster of my Life as a PDX Wildlife Panda Intern: In the End

Grace left Bi Feng Xia right before Thanksgiving here in the states.  Her departure marked the official end of data collection on our panda project.  There’s a little bit of sadness in seeing this project wrap up as I’ve had so much fun with it! (I promise to post all my funny pictures in a series coming up next year).  Here’s Grace’s last words on her internship! Enjoy! – Meg

“My time at Bi Feng Xia is coming to an end. I cannot believe that three months has passed so quickly. I’m definitely going to miss this place!


In the last few weeks here I’ve been able to tick off every study on my list. Continue reading