Over the past two hundred years, we have drastically changed the face of our landscape. Only small fragments of the native prairie, forest and other ecosystems remain intact. Some species have gone extinct; many others are now rare, threatened or endangered.
This has led us to protect certain species, and while it is easy to see why the bald eagle, our national symbol, should be protected, what about the lowly fat pocketbook mussel or the decurrent false aster?
The Saving Endangered Species, Saving Ourselves exhibition, developed by the Bell Museum of Natural History and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 3 Division of Endangered Species, uses photomurals, maps, colorful panels, sculpture, and pop-up story books to engage audiences and educate. It uses federally listed species of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio to explore how endangered species, even humble ones, are often warning signals of environmental problems that harm many other species, including humans.
This exhibit focuses on the harmful environmental changes in the Midwest that have led to the decline in the biodiversity of the region. The exhibit concludes with case-studies of how people are helping to save species through proper land management, healthy lifestyles and, consumer activism.
Click here for more information about the exhibit.